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Inflation shows signs of slowing, but heating and food costs continue to rise 

The cost of living has been rising for the last year, and the latest figures show that inflation did increase last month. However, it increased at a slower rate than the previous month. 

According to the US Labor Department, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 0.4% from September, which is a 7.7% increase since October 2021. This month was a lower increase than expected, but consumers are still facing very high prices for many items. 

For example, the shelter index, which covers mortgage and rent costs, shows that housing costs rose sharply during the month and account for over half of the monthly increase. 

The item with the largest increase was heating oil. Consumers who need to heat their homes with oil faced a 19.8% jump in prices compared with September and a staggering 65.5% rise since October last year. 

Other items that had higher prices compared to last month were: 

  • Gasoline prices: 4% from September and 17.7% from October 2021
  • Electricity prices: 0.1% from September and 14.1% from October 2021
  • Food prices: 0.6% from September and 10.9% from October 2021

Gas prices have reached a record high in many countries in the last year, and prices have continued to increase in the last month.

Overall food prices have continued to rise this month and, in particular, eating out has become much more expensive. Food consumed at home costs around .04% more than last month and 12.4% more than a year ago, compared with a 0.9% rise for eating out in the last month and an 8.6% increase from last year. 

There were some items that were lower in price this month, so it’s not all bad news. In fact, when the Labor Department removed food and energy prices, prices rose by 0.3%. 

The price of used cars fell by 2.4% in the last month and clothing costs fell by 0.7%. 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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