Inflation increased in October but at a slower rate

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But if you were renting a home or buying heating oil, you might not have noticed

The cost of living rose again last month, but not as much as expected. The Labor Department reports the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 0.4% from September – 7.7.% over October 2021.

When the government stripped out costs of food and energy, prices rose 0.3%, half the rate of September’s rise. But that doesn’t mean consumers didn’t feel some pain, especially in certain sectors.

The shelter index, which covers rent and mortgage costs, accounted for over half of the monthly all items increase. Rents continue to rise and mortgage rates moved sharply higher during the month.

Here are some other consumer items that cost more last month:

  • Gasoline prices rose 4% from September, 17.7% from October 2021

  • Electric bills rose 0.1% from September, 14.1% from October 2021

  • Food prices rose 0.6% from September, 10.9% from October 2021

Huge increase in heating oil prices

Consumers who heat with oil and filled their tanks last month got hit the hardest. The price of heating oil jumped 19.8% from September and 68.5% from October 2021.

While overall food costs continued to rise, eating away from home got a lot more expensive. Food consumed away from home rose 0.9% from September and 8.6% over the last 12 months. Food consumed at home rose 0.4% over the last month but the cost is up 12.4% since October 2021.

Some things consumers buy actually came down in price. The price of used cars and trucks continued to fall from its record high, declining 2.4% over the last month and is now just 2% higher than a year ago. New vehicles, meanwhile, rose 0.4% and cost 8.4% more than a year ago.

Clothing costs were also lower last month as retailers slashed prices to reduce inventory. Apparel costs fell 0.7% but are up 4% year-over-year.

Medical costs were also lower in October. Costs fell 0.6% from September but are up 5.4% from a year ago.

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