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Consumer prices rise moderately but inflation tame

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By Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Consumer prices rose moderately in October but there was little sign of inflation as the cost of autos, clothing and hotels fell.

The Labor Department said Wednesday the Consumer Price Index rose by 0.2 percent last month, an increase from September's 0.1 percent rise. Wall Street analysts had expected a slightly larger increase. It was the fourth straight rise.

Gasoline prices accounted for most of the increase, rising by 4.6 percent in October, the biggest gain since July.

Excluding the volatile food and energy categories, the core consumer index was unchanged for the third straight month. In the past year, the core index has risen by only 0.6 percent, the smallest increase since the index began in 1957. That's down from September's 0.8 percent annual increase.

The weak economy is keeping a lid on prices. Consumers, facing high unemployment and slow wage growth, are restraining their spending. Retailers and other companies don't want to risk losing frugal shoppers by raising prices.


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