Winter heating bills set to jump

NEW YORK — With prices surging worldwide for heating oil, natural gas and other fuels, the US government said, Wednesday, it expects households to see their heating bills jump as much as 54% compared to last winter. Nearly half the homes in the US use natural gas for heat, and they could pay an average $746 this winter, 30% more than a year ago. This could be the most expensive winter for natural-gas heated homes since 2008-2009. A forecast for a colder winter means people will likely be burning more fuel to keep warm, on top of paying more for each bit of it.

Inflation rises

WASHINGTON — Consumer prices rose 0.4% last month, slightly higher than August’s gain and pushing annual inflation back to the highest increase in 13 years. The consumer price index rose 5.4% in September from a year ago, up slightly from August’s gain of 5.3% and matching the increases in June and July. Excluding the volatile food and energy categories, core inflation rose 0.2% in September and 4% compared with a year ago. Core prices hit a three-decade high of 4.5% in June.

The ongoing price gains raise pressure on the Federal Reserve, whose officials have repeatedly said the increases will be transitory, and on President Joe Biden, who is facing an economy of slowing job gains and higher inflation. 

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