Joy. Consumer prices post their largest increase in five months. Hope you locked in that mortgage rate.
Consumer prices — stoked by more expensive gasoline as well as pricier fruits and vegetables — heated up in October, rising by 0.6 percent, the biggest gain in five months.
The newest snapshot of the inflation climate, released by the Labor Department Wednesday, bolstered the chances that the Federal Reserve would push up interest rates for a fifth time this year on Dec. 14.
The sizable increase in the Consumer Price Index, the government’s most closely watched inflation barometer, came after prices rose by 0.2 percent in September.
The pricing picture in October showed bigger increases than economists were forecasting. Some were expecting a 0.4 percent advance in overall consumer prices and a 0.1 percent rise in the core figure.
The consumer price report comes one day after the government released data showing the wholesale costs soared in October by 1.7 percent, the biggest increase in more than 14 years.
In the first 10 months of 2004, consumer prices rose at an annual rate of 3.9 percent, compared with a 1.9 percent increase for all of 2003.