Inflation Rates Moderate but Higher Than Last Year; Few Price Categories Show Significant Swings Up or Down in the Jacksonville Area

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Byline: Mark Basch, The Times-Union

Consumer prices rose slightly in September both nationally and in Jacksonville, with inflation rates remaining moderate but higher than last year.

The U.S. Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers, the nation's most closely watched inflation gauge, rose a seasonally adjusted 0.2 percent in September following a 0.1 percent rise in August, the Labor Department said Tuesday. The CPI for the Jacksonville area, compiled by the University of North Florida's Local Economic Indicators Project, edged up just .05 points to a seasonally adjusted 101.80 in August.

LEIP reported that very few price categories showed significant swings up or down in the Jacksonville area. For the first nine months this year, the Jacksonville area CPI shows prices rising at an annual rate of just 1.25 percent after rising 0.65 percent for all of 2003.

"The current track of inflation rates locally seems to support an economy that is growing, but not at a rate that is generating opportunities for producers and retailers to raise prices appreciably," said Paul Mason, UNF economics professor and director of the LEIP project. …