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Repeats Story Initially Transmitted at 12:30 GMT Sep 13
--Overall CPI Slips To +2.7% Y/Y, Core Slows To +2.2% Y/Y
By Kevin Kastner, Shikha Dave, and Harrison Clarke
     WASHINGTON (MNI) - The CPI data suggest that consumer inflation 
remains steady, with the headline and core measures slightly below 
expectations and the year/year rates for the overall and core measures 
down, data released Thursday morning by the Bureau of Labor Statistics 
     Overall CPI posted a 0.2% increase, below the 0.3% gain expected 
by analysts and in line with the 0.2% market estimate, while the core 
CPI rose 0.1%, below the 0.2% analyst expectation.
     Unrounded, the month/month rise for overall CPI was +0.223%, while 
the unrounded increase for core CPI was +0.082%, on the low end of a 
0.1% increase. 
     Overall, the data point to mildly slower progress in consumer 
inflation, as the year/year rate for both overall and core measures 
slowed modestly. 
     The year/year rate for overall CPI slowed to 2.7% from 2.9%, while 
the year/year rate for core CPI moderated to 2.2% from 2.4%. 
     The large owners' equivalent rents category rose 0.3%, while 
medical care prices fell 0.2%, new vehicle prices were flat and used 
vehicles prices rose 0.4%. 
     Energy prices rose by 1.9% for August after a 0.5% decrease in 
July, with gasoline prices up 3.0%, fuel oil prices up 2.2%, electricity 
prices up 0.3%, and gas utilities prices up 0.9%. Energy prices were 
down 0.1% unadjusted. Seasonal adjustment factors look for a larger 
unadjusted drop in late-summer. CPI excluding only energy was up 0.1%. 
     Food prices were up 0.1% in August, with food at home prices 
flat and food away from home prices up 0.2%. 
     In other data released on Thursday, the level of initial claims 
fell by 1,000 to 204,000 in the September 8 holiday week after dipping 
to 205,000 in the previous week. The four-week moving average fell by 
2,000 to 208,000, and could fall next week as the 210,000 level in the 
August 18 week rolls out of the equation. These are the lowest levels 
for both initial claims and the moving average since the December 6, 
1969 week, when they were 202,000 and 204,500, respectively. 
     Continuing claims fell by 15,000 to 1.696 million in the September 
1 week, with the four-week moving average down to 1.711 million. This is 
the lowest level for insured unemployment since the December 1, 1973 
week, when it was 1.692 million. 
     All measures of claims remain below their year-ago levels, when 
filings were elevated in the aftermath of the hurricanes. Even leaving 
beside that special consideration, the recent claims levels are evidence 
of a very tight labor market. Initial claims could be boosted in the 
coming weeks pending Hurricane Florence and other storms.  
     ** MNI Washington Bureau: 202-371-2121 ** 

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