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Tuesday, November 18, 2003

No Inflation in Sight

I don't know if anyone else is thinking what I'm thinking: 7.3 % growth rate last quarter, interest at !%, and still no sign of inflation. Spooky. And some were saying deflation was already yesterday's thing.

U.S. consumer prices held steady last month as plunging energy prices offset increases in the cost of food, homes and lodging, the government said on Tuesday in a report that showed little change in underlying inflation trends.
The consumer price index (news - web sites), the most widely used gauge of U.S. inflation, was unchanged in October, the Labor Department (news - web sites) said. The so-called core index, which strips out sometimes volatile food and energy prices, rose 0.2 percent, just above the 0.1 percent gain expected on Wall Street. Economists polled ahead of the report had also expected a gain of just 0.1 percent in the overall index.

Energy prices plunged 3.9 percent in October, reversing course after big gains in the prior two months, the department said. Food prices rose a sharp 0.6 percent, reflecting the biggest advance in beef prices in nearly 25 years. A ban on imports of Canadian beef, put in place after Canada discovered one case of mad cow disease earlier this year, have driven prices higher, analysts say. The 0.2 percent gain in the core CPI marked a bit of an acceleration from September, when core prices inched up just 0.1 percent. The department said a rise in "shelter" costs, including a 2.3 percent spike in lodging and a 0.3 percent gain in the cost of owning a home, was the biggest factor behind the pickup in core prices.
Source: Yahoo News

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