Inflation cooldown continues: Consumer Price Index rises slightly in November
The Consumer Price Index rose a moderate 0.1% in November, as falling gas prices helped drag the overall index down, the Labor Department said on Tuesday.
Why it matters: Though some underlying price pressures appear to be sticky, the rapid price gains that defined recent years look to be in the past. Inflation continues to cool — a welcome development for consumers, the Federal Reserve and the White House.
By the numbers: CPI rose 3.1% for the 12 months ending in November, down from 3.2% in October. Gasoline prices fell 6% alone last month.
Yes, but: The index that excludes food and energy prices — closely watched by Federal Reserve officials — picked up pace. It rose 0.3% in November, slightly faster than the 0.2% in October, a sign that underlying price pressures are sticky.
- Quicker price increases for shelter, medical care and auto insurance put upward pressure on the index.
- Over the last 12 months, the so-called Core CPI increased 4% in November, the same as the prior month.
The bottom line: The data comes as the Federal Reserve holds a two-day policy meeting. No change in interest rates is expected.
- But as inflation has edged closer to the central bank's 2% target, officials might offer hints about what's ahead in 2024.
Editor's note: This story was updated with a chart and additional information.