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US consumer prices rise by 0.6% in Sept. as cost of gasoline surges

WASHINGTON--U.S. consumer prices rose in September as the cost of gasoline surged, posing a threat to consumers' spending power although inflation pressures look unlikely to derail the Federal Reserve's ultra-easy policy path.

The Consumer Price Index increased 0.6 percent last month, in line with analysts' expectations and matching August's reading, data from the Labor Department showed on Tuesday.

Most of the increase in consumer prices was due to a sharp rise in gasoline prices, which jumped 7 percent in September after climbing 9 percent the prior month. Higher costs at the pump force many American consumers to cut back on other spending.

A measure of underlying inflation, however, was relatively muted. The core CPI, which excludes food and energy prices, increased just 0.1 percent for a third month in a row.

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