WASHINGTON (AP) - Higher gas costs drove up U.S. consumer prices in September for the second straight month. But outside energy, there was little sign of inflation.
The Labor Department says the consumer price index rose a seasonally adjusted 0.6 percent in September, matching the August increase. In the past 12 months, prices have increased 2 percent. That's in line with the Federal Reserve's inflation target.
Food prices rose only 0.1 percent. The cost of meat, chicken and eggs fell. Dairy prices rose.
Excluding volatile food and energy costs, prices rose just 0.1 percent. In the past year, so-called core prices have increased 2 percent.
Modest inflation leaves consumers with more money to spend, which can boost growth. It also allows the Federal Reserve to continue with its efforts to rekindle the economy.