Inflation was flat in October from the previous month, providing a hopeful sign that stubbornly high prices are easing their grip on the U.S. economy and giving a potential green light to the Federal Reserve to stop raising interest rates. The consumer price index, which measures a broad basket of commonly used goods and services, increased 3.2% from a year ago despite being unchanged for the month, according to seasonally adjusted numbers from the Labor Department on Tuesday. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been looking for respective readings of 0.1% and 3.3%.
Excluding volatile food and energy prices, the core CPI increased 0.2% and 4%, against the forecast of 0.3% and 4.1%. The annual level was the lowest in two years, down from 4.1% in September, though still well above the Federal Reserve’s 2% target. However, Fed officials have stressed that they want to see a series of declines in core readings, which has been the case since April. The flat reading on the headline CPI came as energy prices declined 2.5% for the month, offsetting a 0.3% increase in the food index. It was the slowest monthly pace since July 2022.