WASHINGTON -- A sharp rise in gasoline prices helped push up prices for consumer goods in September for the second straight month, the Labor Department said Tuesday.
The consumer price index, which measures inflation, increased a seasonally adjusted 0.6% in September from the previous month. Prices also were up 0.6% in August. Before that, inflation had been flat or down for four consecutive months.
Higher gas costs were again the main culprit in September. Prices at the pump, which have set records recently in California, were up 7% last month, following a 9% increase in August.
So-called core inflation, which takes out volatile fuel and food prices, was up just 0.1% for the third straight month, the Labor Department said. Despite the effects of the Midwestern drought, food prices were little changed in September, up 0.1% as well.