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U.S. inflation slows to 3.2% in October -- Headline inflation in the U.S. slowed by more than expected in October, in a boost for Federal Reserve officials keen on corralling price pressures in the world's largest economy. The Labor Department's U.S. consumer price index (CPI) rose by 3.2% in October on an annualized basis, decelerating from a rate of 3.7% in September, due in large part to a fall in gas prices. It was the yearly reading's first decline in four months. Month-on-month, the measure was unchanged, down from an uptick of 0.4%. Economists had seen the figures at 3.3% annually and 0.1% from the prior month. Bringing inflation back down to the Fed's 2% target rate has been the major objective of a long-standing series of interest rate hikes by the central bank, meaning that policymakers will likely welcome a renewed cooling in price growth. Core CPI, which takes out more volatile items like food and energy, rose by 4.0% annually and 0.2% monthly. Although this pace was also slower than forecasts, it points to some lingering stickiness in inflation -- a concern that has led various policymakers in recent days to suggest that rates may not be "sufficiently restrictive" to tamp down price growth to 2%. Indeed, Chair Jerome Powell noted last week that the Fed "will not hesitate" to further raise borrowing costs from their current range of 5.25% to 5.50% "if it becomes appropriate." The Fed, which held interest rates steady at their last meeting, is scheduled to hold its next two-day gathering on Dec. 12-13. U.S. stock futures surged in the wake of the data on Tuesday, while Treasury yields, which typically move inversely to prices, dipped.

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