WASHINGTON — Consumer prices climbed more slowly than economists estimated in September, inching up 0.1% from the previous month, the Labor Department reported Friday.

Core prices, which exclude volatile food and fuel costs, were unchanged for a second month and have risen only 0.8% the past 12 months — the smallest increase in 49 years.

Economists expected September consumer prices would increase 0.2% and core prices would edge up 0.1%, according to the median estimate from Thomson Reuters.

Consumer prices rose 1.1% during the 12 months ending in September.

“The consumer price index edged up slightly on higher prices at the pump,” according to a research note from Diane Swonk, chief economist at Mesirow Financial.

“Deep discounts elsewhere in the economy held core inflation flat for the month — that matters more to the [Federal Reserve],” she added.

“In fact, core inflation continued to moderate on a year-to-year basis, a primary justification for additional monetary stimulus,” Swonk said.

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