The latest data from the Commerce Department shows that the Federal Reserve's preferred inflation gauge has slightly decreased. The core Personal Consumption Expenditures index, which excludes gas and food prices, rose 3.7% in the 12 months ending in September, down from the 3.8% rate in August. The overall index remained unchanged on a monthly basis at 0.4% and 3.4% for the 12 months ending in September. Economists had estimated a monthly rise of 0.3% and an annual increase of 3.4%. The biggest contributors to the overall price increase were prescription drugs and cars in the goods category, and international travel and housing in the services category. This data comes after the US economy expanded at an annual rate of nearly 5% in the third quarter. Consumer spending also increased, but incomes grew at a slower pace, leading to a decline in the personal saving rate.
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