Inflation remained under control in September, the Labor Department reporting Thursday, as its unadjusted Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) decreased 0.1%.
The seasonally adjusted CPI came in flat for September, held in check by a 1.9% decrease in the energy index. Still, with the CPI at 218.783, prices remain 4.9% above the levels of September, 2007.
The index for all items minus food and energy increased 0.1%, which marked the second consecutive month of deceleration but still reflected increases in producer prices from earlier in the year. Food costs were up 0.6%, the same level of increase as August. The index for food at home was also up 0.6%, a decrease from the 0.8% rise in August, but food prices remain 7.6% ahead of September last year.
The index for housing costs declined 0.1%, the same decline as posted in August, with the the index still up at a 1.8% compound annual growth rate for the third quarter of 2008.
For the third quarter, inflation rose at a seasonally adjusted rate of 2.6% following increases of 3.1% and 7.9% in the first and second quarters, respectively. The year-to-date annual rate is now 4.5%, compared to an increase of 4.1% for all of 2007. The index for energy fell at a 4.9% annual rate for the quarter, following increases at rates of 8.6% and 53.6% in the first two quarters, respectively. So far this year, the energy index has risen at a 16.6% rate after increasing 17.4% in all of 2007.