The rate of inflation slowed in October as the price of used cars, apparel and medical care all fell. 
Prices increased 0.4 percent from the month before, and 7.7 percent over the last 12 months, according to the latest consumer price index data. 
This is well below most Wall Street estimates, stoking speculation that inflation could begin to slow significantly in coming months. 
The Biden administration also championed the results. 
"Today’s report shows that we are making progress on bringing inflation down, without giving up all of the progress we have made on economic growth and job creation," said President Joe Biden in a statement. "My economic plan is showing results, and the American people can see that we are facing global economic challenges from a position of strength.
In addition, the report fits neatly with recent comments from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell who said that the central bank could begin easing up on rate hikes if inflation continues to trend in the right direction. 
For that to happen, however, prices might have to fall across a wider range of goods, because right now, just a handful of categories are moving down. 
Chief among them is used cars, which fell 2.4 percent in October, nearly doubling the 1.1 percent decline in September. 
The drop comes as supply chain issues begin to ease in the automotive sector and interest rates on auto loans spike, suggesting that shifts in supply and demand may be a factor in the deflation. 
While used cars were the star of the show, some other categories saw significant decreases as well. Apparel was down 0.7 percent. Medical care services fell 0.6 percent, and price hikes inthe transportation services category decelerated significantly. 
At the same time, some important sectors saw significant price increases. 
Energy costs, for instance, jumped 1.8 percent after falling 2.1 percent in September, a hint that recent energy woes are far from over. 
Shelter costs were also up 0.8 percent, a slight acceleration from the month before, and given that the sector is heavily weighted in the index, the upward trend might not bode well for future CPI reports.  
The data comes two days after U.S. midterm elections, and exit polls show that inflation was very much on voters' minds. 
About half of U.S. voters said inflation factored significantly in their vote, according to AP VoteCast, and around 80 percent said the economy is in bad shape. 
However, perceptions of the economy were split somewhat along partisan lines, with more Republicans expressing negative feelings about the economy than Democrats. 
The split among voters aligns with broader uncertainty about the U.S. economy, in which high inflation and a battered housing and tech sector exist alongside historically high employment and steady wage gains. 
On Wednesday, President Biden gave a speech aimed precisely at shifting public perceptions of the economy. 
"When I came to office, we inherited a nation with a pandemic raging and an economy that was reeling," the president said. "And we acted quickly and boldly to vaccinate the country and to create a stable and sustained growth in our economy; long-term investment to rebuild America itself and our roads, our bridges, our ports, our airports, clean water systems, high-speed Internet."