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Consumer Prices Up 0.4 Percent

October 19, 2001

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Consumer prices edged up in September pushed higher by the biggest jump in gasoline prices in 15 months, the government reported Friday.

The Consumer Price Index, a closely watched inflation gauge, rose by 0.4 percent last month, the largest increase since May, the Labor Department said. The advance came after a tiny, 0.1 percent increase in August.

The ``core″ rate of inflation, which excludes energy and food prices, rose in September for the third month in a row by 0.2 percent, suggesting that most other prices are well-controlled.

To stabilize the tottering economy, the Federal Reserve has cut interest rates nine times this year, with two of those reductions coming after the Sept. 11 attacks. One of the reasons the Fed has been able to act so aggressively is because inflation has not been a problem.

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