Consumer Price Index higher for fourth month

by Eric Schroeder
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WASHINGTON — The overall Consumer Price Index increased 0.2%, its fourth consecutive month of gains. The increase follows advances of 0.1% in September, and 0.3% in both August and July. At 218.9, the index was up 1.2% over the past 12 months, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the Department of Labor. The index for food and beverages also finished higher, rising 0.1% to 220.8. The index rose 0.3% in September and 0.1% in August.

Increases in the energy index again drove the overall gain in the C.P.I. The energy index rose 2.6% in October, which follows a gain of 0.7% in September, 2.3% in August and 2.6% in July. Leading the way was the gasoline index, which rose for the fourth month in a row and accounted for almost 90% of the all items increase, the B.L.S. said.

The food index rose 0.1% to 220.4 after rising 0.3% in September. Over the past 12 months, the food index has risen 1.4%, with both the food at home index and food away from home index rising the same 1.4%.

The sharpest increase during October occurred in the index for dairy and related products, which rose 1.1%. The gain marked the segment’s fifth increase in the past six months and its largest increase during that time.

The index for meats, poultry, fish and eggs also rose, increasing 0.6% as gains in the indexes for beef, poultry and pork offset a decline in the eggs index.

The largest decline occurred in the index for fruits and vegetables, which fell 0.7% to 268.8.

Also posting a sharp decline was the index for nonalcoholic beverages, which fell 0.5% to 160.9.

The index for cereals and bakery products, which advanced 0.8% in September, fell back 0.2% during October to 250.2. Also down 0.2% during the month was the index for other food at home.

The index for food away from home, which rose 0.3% in both September and August, increased 0.1% in October to 227.3.

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