Inflation in the United States slowed last month, a sign that interest rate increases applied by the Federal Reserve are achieving their goal of mitigating spikes in consumer prices.
The report issued Tuesday by the Labor Department shows that prices decreased or increased more slowly on a wide range of goods and services, including gasoline, new and used cars, hotel rooms and housing.
Overall inflation was unchanged from September to October, down from a 0.4% increase the previous month. Compared with that same period 12 months ago, consumer prices rose 3.2% in October, down from 3.7% in September and the smallest annualized increase since June.
Core inflation, which excludes more volatile items such as food and fuel, also fell. Prices in that category increased just 0.2% from September to October, a little less than the percentage recorded the previous two months.
Economists often pay close attention to core inflation, as it tends to offer a glimpse into future price trends. On a year-over-year basis, core prices rose 4% in October, down from 4.1% in September and the smallest increase in two years.
“The inflationary fever is over,” said Bill Adams, an economist at Comerica Bank.
“Increased oil production is keeping gasoline prices low, home prices are rising at a more moderate pace after mortgage rates spike in 2023, and rents are also rising at a more moderate pace” a as more apartment buildings are built.