US consumer inflation eased to 7.7% over past 12 months

Price increases moderated in the United States last month in the latest sign that the inflation pressures that have gripped the nation might be easing as the economy slows and consumers grow more cautious.

Consumer inflation reached 7.7% in October from a year earlier and 0.4% from September, the Labor Department said Thursday. The year-over-year gain was the smallest since January. Excluding volatile food and energy prices, “core” inflation rose 6.3% in the past 12 months and 0.3% from September.

The numbers were all lower than economists had expected.

Even with last month’s tentative easing of inflation, the Federal Reserve is widely

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