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News In Brief

US inflation posted scant rise last month

Consumer prices, driven by more expensive gasoline and food, rose a moderate (seasonally adjusted) 0.4 percent in October, the government said Wednesday. The 1.8 percent gasoline price hike was the steepest since May 1983.

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With just two months left in 1984, however, inflation this year is running at 4.2 percent, slightly lower than analysts' predictions of a 5 percent rise for the year.

As for last month, analysts laid fully half the blame for higher prices on the increases for gasoline and food. Food prices, which had fallen in September, rose 0.4 percent.

In a separate report, the Commerce Department said orders received by factories for durable goods - items such as appliances, cars, and military hardware - fell 4.1 percent last month, the sharpest drop since the 6.5 percent slide in April.

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