US consumer prices steady, non-auto sales up

Nov 13 | Updated: Nov 14 2005, 05:30am hrs
A drop in energy costs restrained US consumer prices in October, and retail sales improved except at auto dealers, reports this week may show.

The consumer price index probably was unchanged last month, the first time since July that prices didnt increase, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey before the Labor Departments Nov. 16 report. The Commerce Department on Nov. 15 is expected to report non-auto retail sales rose 0.2% after a 1.1% gain in September.

Total retail sales fell last month as auto purchases slumped and Americans conserved gasoline, cutting into service station receipts, economists said.