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Health care prices drive up inflation

A beige hospital room with a bed, computer monitor and other health care devices.
Photo: Aric Crabb/Digital First Media/Bay Area News via Getty Images

Consumer inflation rose 0.4% in October, which was higher than expected due in large part to rising health care prices, according to new federal figures. The monthly spikes in inflation were especially prominent for health insurance costs (2.2%), prescription drugs (1.8%) and hospital services (1.4%).

The bottom line: "Inflation remains well-contained almost everywhere, with the major exception of the health care sector," left-leaning economist Dean Baker wrote in an analysis.