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Rising rents and food prices mean Americans are paying more

November 15, 2012|By Tiffany Hsu
  • Higher food prices helped push up consumer prices overall, even as gasoline prices slipped.
Higher food prices helped push up consumer prices overall, even as gasoline… (Andrew Harrer / Bloomberg…)

Consumer prices continued to rise in October as rents and the cost of food climbed even as gas came down from its recent peak, the government said.

Seasonally adjusted prices got a 0.1% boost in October from the previous month, according to the Labor Department. But the increase was smaller than the 0.6% surges in September and August.

October’s prices were up 2.2% from the year-earlier period.

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The cost of food went up 0.2% last month from September, according to the report, with meat, poultry, fish, eggs, fruits and vegetables all experiencing price hikes. Rents gained 0.4%, their largest rise since June 2008.

Americans got a breather, however, as energy prices slumped 0.2%. Gas prices slid 0.6% after soaring 7% in September and 9% in August.

Stripping the price index of energy and food, which tend to be volatile, brought core prices up 0.2%. Apparel costs and airline fares rose, while prices of new and used cars retreated.

A separate report from the American Farm Bureau Federation predicted that a typical Thanksgiving dinner will cost consumers 28 cents more than last year, bringing the price of the turkey feast up to $49.48 for a party of 10.


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