U.S. consumer prices increased only slightly in September, as higher energy costs offset flat food prices. The figures are the latest evidence that slow economic growth is keeping inflation tame.
The consumer price index rose a seasonally adjusted 0.2 percent in September, the Labor Department said Wednesday. Thats up from 0.1 percent in August. Higher gas, electricity and other energy costs rose 0.8 percent, making up about half the overall increase.
In the past year, consumer prices have increased just 1.2 percent. Excluding volatile food and energy costs, core prices rose just 0.1 percent and are up 1.7 percent in the past 12 months.
High unemployment and meager wage increases have made it difficult for Americans to pay more for most goods. That has also made it hard for retailers to charge more.
9 area hospitals earn recognition
A health accreditation agency has named six Lutheran Health Network hospitals and three Parkview Health hospitals as top performers on key quality measures.
The Chicago-based agency, known as the Joint Commission, is the leading accrediting organization for health care providers in the U.S.
The hospitals were recognized for exemplary performance in using processes that are clinically proven to improve care for conditions including heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, surgical care and stroke.
Lutherans recognized hospitals were Bluffton Regional Medical Center, Dupont Hospital, Kosciusko Community Hospital, Lutheran Hospital, The Orthopedic Hospital and Dukes Memorial Hospital.
Parkviews recognized hospitals were Parkview Huntington Hospital, Parkview Noble Hospital and Parkview Ortho Hospital.
Bluffton snack maker invests in equipment
Phoenix-based Inventure Foods announced Wednesday it will invest $3 million in equipment at its Bluffton manufacturing plant.
The investment wont result in any new jobs but does represent growth at the companys northeast Indiana operation, which employs 120. Inventure will add new snack food machinery by April.
To have this type of investment in this plant bodes well for us, Bluffton plant manager Ron Lee said in a statement. This supports our current customer base and allows us to enhance our ability to serve new customers.
Bluffton city officials on Tuesday approved a 10-year tax abatement that will save the company $141,500.
Organizations join to push road upgrade
OrthoWorx, the Corporate Partnership for Economic Growth and the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership are jointly backing an effort to link Fort Wayne to Valparaiso with an interstate-quality highway, officials said Wednesday.
The cities are now linked by U.S. 30, a highway that has drawbacks, according to the coalition, which notes that movement of products and employee travel are critical for the Warsaw-based orthopedic industry cluster.
Improving U.S. 30 has been identified by the three regional logistics councils representing the northern third of Indiana.
The councils were formed to provide regional input to the Indiana Department of Transportation, which will consider the information during planning.