U.S. consumer prices were unchanged in October, in line with market expectation, the Labor Department reported Thursday.
Consumer Price Index (CPI), a main gauge of inflation, was unchanged in October on a seasonally adjusted basis, following a 0. 1 percent increase in the previous month. Over the last 12 months, the index increased 1.7 percent before seasonal adjustment.
Gasoline and other energy indexes declined, offsetting increases in shelter and an array of other indexes, which leaves the CPI unchanged, said the Labor Department. The gasoline index fell for the fourth month in a row, declining 3 percent in October, while the food index rose 0.1 percent in the month.
Excluding the volatile food and energy categories, the so- called core CPI increased 0.2 percent in October, compared to 0.1 percent rise in September. The core CPI was up 1.8 percent in the past 12 months.
Both the headline CPI and the core number were below the Federal Reserve's inflation target of 2 percent, which will leave room for the Federal Reserve to maintain loose monetary policy.
According to the minutes of the Fed's latest monetary policy meeting, the Fed staff cut its forecast for inflation this quarter and early next year in response to further declines in crude oil prices. But many policy meeting participants judged the energy price declines would provide a boost to consumer spending over the near term and thus support the economy.