Used Vehicles Lift U.S. Consumer Prices, but Inflation Slowing | Investing News

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. consumer prices increased for a fourth straight month in September, with the cost of cars and trucks rising by the most since 1969, though inflation is slowing amid labor market slack as the economy gradually recovers from the COVID-19 recession.

While the benign report from the Labor Department on Tuesday will have no direct impact on monetary policy, it should allow the Federal Reserve to keep interest rates near zero for a while and continue with massive cash infusions as it nurses the economy back to health.

The U.S. central bank is now more concerned about the labor market and has embraced flexible average inflation targeting, which in theory could see policymakers tolerate price increases above its 2% target for a period of perhaps several years to offset years in which inflation was lodged below its goal.

At least 25.5 million people are on unemployment benefits.

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Consumer prices rise 0.2% in September, used vehicles spike

Updated

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This Week: Home prices, consumer spending, nonfarm payrolls

The Conference Board issues its latest monthly snapshot of U.S. consumer confidence Tuesday

A look at some of the key business events and economic indicators upcoming this week:

EYE ON CONSUMERS

The Conference Board serves up its latest monthly snapshot of U.S. consumer confidence Tuesday.

Consumer confidence, by month:

April 85.7

May 85.9

June 98.3

July 91.7

Aug. 84.8

Sept. (est.) 90.0

Source: FactSet

IN A SPENDING MOOD?

The Commerce Department issues its August tally of consumer spending Thursday.

Consumers have increased

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