Bush Boom

Just keepsgetting better.

Consumer prices rose a brisk 0.3 percent in October, driven by the sharpest rise in energy costs in five months, while jobless claims were higher than anticipated, government reports showed on Thursday.

The Consumer Price Index, the most broadly used gauge of inflation, rose at the same rate as in September, which was the steepest rise since a 0.7 jump in May, according to the Labor Department report.


Consumer prices were 3.5 percent higher than a year ago, the biggest 12-month increase since August 2006, when they rose 3.8 percent, a Labor Department official said. Core prices were up 2.2 percent on a year-on-year basis.

So far this year, prices have climbed by a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.6 percent, driven by higher food and energy costs. That compares with a 2.5 percent gain in all of 2006.

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