Core Consumer Prices Rise More Than Expected

The Consumer Price Index rose 0.2% in November, in line with forecasts. But excluding food and energy, prices rose a higher-than-anticipated 0.3%.
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Prices of consumer goods and services other than food and energy rose slightly more than expected in November, sounding a mild alarm about inflation.

The core

Consumer Price Index

(

definition |

chart |

source

), which measures prices paid by consumers for goods and services other than food and energy, rose 0.3% in November. Economists polled by

Reuters

had, on average, forecast a 0.2% gain.

The annual growth rate of the core CPI rose to 2.6% from 2.5%, matching its highest level of the year.

Consumer prices of all goods and services, including food and energy, rose 0.2% in November, in line with economist expectations. The annual rate of increase held steady at 3.4%.

The CPI category with the largest increase was miscellaneous goods and services, where prices rose 1.2%. The next largest increase was in transportation prices, which rose 0.3%. The increases were offset by a 0.4% drop in apparel prices.

All eyes are on inflation data as the

Federal Reserve begins to move its views toward believing the risks of inflation no longer outweigh the risks of recession.

Real earnings fell 0.1% in November. They had been unchanged in October.

Last week, the all-important

jobs report showed the economy created far fewer jobs than economists expected in November, and the unemployment rate rose, indicating that demand for workers is easing as growth slows. But the average hourly wage rose by a surprisingly large 0.4%, pouring water on hopes the Fed will act soon to stimulate the economy with interest-rate cuts.

TheStreet.com

last week wrote a

fuller story on the latest employment data.

For a long-term economic calendar, check out

TheStreet.com's

Economic Databank.