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Consumers paid less for gas, cars in October

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A driver fills up at a gas station.

By msnbc.com news services

Consumers paid less for gas and cars in October, according to a new government report issued Wednesday.

The Labor Department said October’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) showed prices declined by 0.1 percent in the month, roughly matching analysts’ expectations. It was the first decline in the CPI in four months, although prices outside of food and energy posted a slight increase.

Another report Wednesday showed U.S. industrial output rose more than expected in October as factory and mining production expanded strongly, suggesting the economy was gaining steam. Positive reports could be further evidence that the U.S. economy is not in danger of slipping back into another recession.

“The data is relatively upbeat in the U.S., which contrasts with the situation in Europe,” said Omer Esiner, senior market strategist at Commonwealth Foreign Exchange in Washington, D.C. “Obviously the debt ceiling is front and center, but the data here [are] improving, which should provide a bit more tail wind for the dollar.”

The CPI measures changes in the price level of consumer goods and services purchased by households.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.