(Dow Jones) US consumer prices rose only slightly in October, showing stubbornly soft inflation is persisting.
The consumer-price index, measuring what Americans pay for everything from cakes to phone service, advanced 0.1% in October from a month earlier, the Labor Department said Wednesday.
Gasoline prices fell during October after hurricanes pushed up fuel costs in September. Food prices held flat last month.
Core prices increase
Excluding volatile food and energy costs, so-called core prices increased 0.2%.
Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expected a 0.1% gain in overall prices and a 0.2% increase in core prices.
From a year earlier, consumer prices rose 2%, the first easing of year-over-year gains since June. When excluding food and energy, prices rose 1.8% from a year earlier. That was the strongest annual gain in core prices since April.
The data presents a mixed signal to Federal Reserve policy makers considering if the economy is prepared for third increase in the central bank's benchmark interest rate this year. The Fed's final meeting of the year will be held 12-13 December.