YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Inflation up 0.6% in September, fueled by higher gas prices

October 16, 2012|By Jim Puzzanghera
  • A Los Angeles gas station attendant changes prices.
A Los Angeles gas station attendant changes prices. (Kevork Djansezian / Getty…)

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.

At the supermarket, prices for an index of meats, poultry, fish, and eggs fell 0.6% after rising in each of the three previous months. But prices for non-alcoholic beverages were up 0.9%, and dairy prices also rose.

Over the past year, broader inflation and core inflation have risen 2%. The Federal Reserve has a goal of keeping inflation no higher than 2% to ensure stable prices.

September's inflation figures were in line with expectations, said Steven Ricchiuto, chief economist for Mizuho Securities USA.

He noted inflation growth aside from energy was moderate, but that "energy prices are leading the index higher with a 6.8% year-over-year gain in gasoline."


Gasoline prices' slow descent fits a familiar pattern

Inflation eases in China, providing room for stimulus

Fed won't change course in "hasty manner," N.Y. Fed president says

Follow Jim Puzzanghera on Twitter and Google+.

Los Angeles Times Articles