US consumer prices unchanged in October

Lucia Mutikani
·1-min read

US consumer prices were unexpectedly unchanged in October as moderate gains in the cost of food were offset by cheaper petrol.

The figures released on Thursday could allow the Federal Reserve to keep its ultra easy monetary policy for a long time to aid the recovery from the COVID-19 recession.

The Labor Department said the unchanged reading in its consumer price index last month followed a 0.2 per cent increase in September.

In the 12 months through October, the CPI climbed 1.2 per cent after increasing 1.4 per cent in September.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the CPI to nudge up 0.1 per cent in October and advance 1.3 per cent year-on-year.

Excluding the volatile food and energy components, the CPI was also flat in October after rising 0.2 per cent in the prior month.

The so-called core CPI increased 1.6 per cent year-on-year after gaining 1.7 per cent in September.

The Fed's preferred inflation measure, the core personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index rose 1.5 per cent in the 12 months through September.

The US central bank has a 2.0 per cent target, a flexible average.

October's core PCE price index data is scheduled to be released at the end of this month.