WASHINGTON (MNI) - The September consumer price data were favorable at slightly better than expectations, indicating that inflation remains on a modest trend.

September CPI was +0.2% and core +0.1%; these were +0.182% and +0.122% unrounded, so one was punched higher and one lower. The over-the-year results were +1.2% overall and +1.7% core.

As expected, the September results produced a +1.5% Social Security index adjustment this year.

Food costs were unchanged as lower fruits & vegetables and soft drinks offset higher meats and dairy.

Energy posted +0.8% as all key components rose. Gasoline was +0.8% but had posted -1.3% before adjustment.

Core was boosted by +0.7% medical equipment in a reversal of two months of dips, and by +0.6% hospital services in a second gain. Also, +0.2% in vehicles (+0.1% before adjustment as the new model year autos came in) contributed to the gain.

But core also had offsetting components: -0.5% in apparel (men's, omens' and footware fell, while childrens' clothing rose) and -1.3% in videos contained the gain.

The data were a little better than expected and show inflation remains tame. There were no signs of distortions from the government closing as data collection was complete before the problem, and processing took place after the reopening.


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