November 18, 2009 / 1:38 PM / 9 years ago

Autos, energy push up October consumer prices

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. consumer prices rose more than expected in October, chiefly from increases in energy and motor vehicle costs, according to government data on Wednesday that showed the economy may have to confront some inflation threats during its recovery from the worst recession in 70 years.

U.S. consumer prices rose more than expected in October, chiefly from increases in energy and motor vehicle costs, according to government data on Wednesday that showed the economy may have to confront some inflation threats during its recovery from the worst recession in 70 years. REUTERS/Graphic

The Labor Department said its Consumer Price Index jumped 0.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis — more than the 0.2 percent increase analysts polled by Reuters had anticipated — after rising an unrevised 0.2 percent in September.

Core prices, which exclude food and energy, rose a more moderate 0.2 percent.

A spike in prices on used cars and trucks and new vehicles accounted for more than 90 percent of the rise in core prices, the department said. It was the biggest increase in new vehicle prices since 1981.

Analysts had expected the government’s car buying program, known as “Cash for Clunkers,” this past summer to have a lingering effect on consumer prices through October.

Reporting by Lisa Lambert, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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