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OECD Inflation Highest Since October 2008

Consumer prices in Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries soared by 3.3 percent in the year to September, the highest rate in almost three years.

Energy costs soared by 14.2 percent in the year to September as the price of oil rose. The figures showed that the pace of food price inflation is slowing, which will be some comfort to OECD consumers battling rapidly rising prices elsewhere.

Consumers in the 32 OECD nations are also facing rising unemployment and slowing wage growth, leading many economists and politicians to talk about the "squeezed middle."

Food prices rose by 4.2 percent in the year to September, compared to 4.6 percent in the year to August, as softening prices of raw materials trickled down to food costs.

Annual inflation in the euro area, struggling with well-documented debt problems, accelerated to 3 percent in September, up from 2.5 percent in August, the highest rate since October 2008.

The United Kingdom was particularly badly hit, with energy price rises pushing annual inflation up to 5.2 percent in September, up from 4.5 percent in August.

Inflation also picked up in the United States, where it rose from 3.8 percent in August to 3.9 percent in September.