Inflation slows entering the holiday season

Entering the holiday season, inflation is down to 3.2 percent.

The annual inflation rate fell from 3.7 percent in September to 3.2 percent, according to the newest report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The core index, minus the volatile food and energy categories, was also showing a decrease.

“The all items less food and energy index rose 4 percent over the last 12 months, its smallest 12-month change since the period ending in September 2021,” the BLS reported.

The improved inflation report follows the Federal Reserve keeping interest rates stable in the last meeting. The Federal Reserve held the target range for federal funds at 5.25 to 5.5 percent. It was the second straight meeting for the FOMC to keep rates steady after aggressively raising rates by 525 basis points since early 2022.

Shelter continued to drive inflation, increasing at a 6.7 percent rate in the past 12 months.

“The shelter index was the largest factor in the monthly increase in the index for all items less food and energy,” the BLS noted.

The used vehicle index fell 0.8 percent in October. That followed a 2.5 percent slide in September. Used vehicles are down 7.1 percent for the year.

Gasoline was down 5.3 percent for the past year, falling 5 percent in October.

Motor vehicle insurance continues to increase. It was up 1.9 percent in October and is up 19.2 percent in the past year.

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