U.S. consumer prices rose marginally in September as energy costs fell broadly, painting a weak inflation picture that should give the Federal Reserve ample room to keep interest rates low for a while.
The Labor Department said on Wednesday its Consumer Price Index edged up 0.1 percent last month after declining 0.2 percent in August. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast consumer prices being flat in September.
The CPI increased 1.7 percent in the 12 months through September after a similar rise in August. The CPI-W index, which is used to make adjustments for Social Security payments rose 1.7 percent in the third quarter from the year earlier.
Inflation has waned in recent months after quickening in the second quarter, in part as a strengthening dollar and slower economic growth in China and the euro zone dampen imported price pressures.
Weak inflation and a recent global equities market sell-off could see the U.S. central bank in no rush to start raising its benchmark overnight interest rate, which it has kept near zero since December 2008.