PRICES UP .4% NATIONALLY

CONSUMER PRICES ROSE 0.4 PERCENT IN OCTOBER, MORE THAN EXPECTED, ON SHARP INCREASES IN THE COSTS OF CLOTHING, AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE AND AUTO FINANCING, THE LABOR DEPARTMENT SAID TUESDAY.

HIGHER COSTS FOR FOOD, SHELTER AND ENERGY HELPED PUSH THE CONSUMER PRICE INDEX, THE MOST BASIC INDICATION OF THE ECONOMY'S UNDERLYING INFLATION RATE, UP 0.4 PERCENT AFTER ADJUSTMENT FOR SEASONAL VARIATIONS, THE DEPARTMENT'S BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS REPORTED.

WHEN THE COSTS OF FOOD, SHELTER AND ENERGY WERE TAKEN OUT, CONSUMER PRICES LEAPED 0.7 PERCENT. MORE THAN HALF OF THAT WAS ACCOUNTED FOR BY HEFTY JUMPS IN CLOTHING PRICES, AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE AND FINANCING, THE BUREAU SAID.