U-S inflation rate adjusted upward due to error

Friday, September 29th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON – Inflation at the consumer level has crept up slightly more this year than the government previously thought because of a mistake in calculating housing costs.

But the tiny upward revision of 0.1 percentage point in the Consumer Price Index will not change the sunny outlook for the nation's economy, private economists said.

It also has not altered economists' belief that the threat of an inflation flare-up is so small that the Federal Reserve is probably finished raising interest rates for this year.

The Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics said Thursday that inflation as measured by the CPI over the first eight months of this year rose at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.5 percent, rather than the 3.4 percent rate originally published.

A Social Security spokeswoman said the adjustment would add about 82 cents a month to the average retiree's benefits check in January. But the Treasury Department said the revisions wouldn't change interest payments for investors holding inflation-indexed savings bonds.