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US inflation ticks up unexpectedly in September

[WASHINGTON] US consumer prices rose slightly in September, contrary to analysts' expectations, the Labor Department reported on Wednesday.

The department's consumer price index (CPI), a key measure of inflation, rose by a seasonally adjusted 0.1 per cent compared with August.

Analysts had expected prices to remain unchanged from August, when they fell 0.2 per cent for the first time in a year and a half.

On an annualized basis, the CPI remained steady at 1.7 per cent in September.

A continuing decline in energy prices was offset by rising food, housing and health care prices.

Excluding food and energy, prices still rose 0.1 per cent in September.

Energy prices dropped for the third straight month, by 0.7 per cent in September, a 0.6 per cent year-over-year decline.

Food prices jumped 0.3 per cent, with a 2.0 per cent hike in the price of beef, up 16.7 per cent since January, and a 0.5 per cent increase for dairy products. Food prices have climbed 3.0 per cent from a year ago.


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