WASHINGTON — 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, but inflation is slowing amid excess capacity in the economy as it gradually recovers from the COVID-19 recession.
A 6.7% jump in the average prices of used cars and trucks again accounted for most of the increase in the CPI last month. That was the biggest gain since February 1969 and followed a 5.4% advance in August. The strong increases likely reflect a shortage of used motor vehicles amid an aversion to public transportation because of fears of contracting COVID-19.
New motor vehicle prices rose 0.3%. There were also increases in the costs of recreation. But prices for motor vehicle insurance, airline fares and apparel fell.
Though the benign report from the Labor Department on Tuesday will have no direct impact on