If you noticed higher prices at the supermarket and gas station last month, you’re not alone.
The consumer price index rose 0.3% in September, less than the 0.4% increase in August, the Labor Department said Wednesday. Excluding food and energy, so-called core prices increased 0.1%, the smallest increase since March.
But if you’re a consumer, of course, food and gas prices matter. Food prices rose 0.4% in September, pushed up by big increases in dairy, cereals and fruits and vegetables. Gas prices rose 2.9%. Costs of medical care, airline fares and tobacco also increased.
Dairy prices have jumped 10.2% in the past year. Gas prices have soared 33.3%. Those increases are big reasons why inflation has jumped 3.9% in the 12 months ending in September — the largest year-over-year increase in three years.