News / Economy

US Consumer Prices Flat in November as Gasoline Falls

A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the market opening, Dec. 16, 2013.
A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the market opening, Dec. 16, 2013.
Reuters
U.S. consumer prices were flat in November, but a bounce back in the annual inflation rate from a four-year low will probably give the Federal Reserve cover to start dialing back its massive monetary stimulus.

The Labor Department said on Tuesday its Consumer Price Index was restrained last month by declines in gasoline and natural gas prices, after slipping 0.1 percent in October.

In the 12 months through November, the CPI rose 1.2 percent. It had increased 1.0 percent in October, the smallest advance since October 2009.

“This is not a game changer. The composition of price changes suggest we are going to see sub-2 percent inflation for some time to come,” said Laura Rosner, economist at BNP Paribas in New York.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast consumer prices nudging up 0.1 percent last month and increasing 1.3 percent from a year ago.

Stripping out the volatile energy and food components, the so-called core CPI rose 0.2 percent after rising by 0.1 percent for three consecutive months.

That took the increase over the past 12 months to 1.7 percent, rising by the same margin for a third straight month.

The Fed targets 2 percent inflation, although it tracks a gage that tends to run a bit below the CPI. The inflation report was released as Fed officials were due to start a two-day meeting to assess the economy and deliberate on monetary policy.

Though some Fed officials are concerned about inflation being too low, that will probably not stop the U.S. central bank from reducing the pace of its monthly bond purchases.

Key data including employment, retail sales and industrial production have all pointed to an economy that is on an upswing.

Some economists expect it to announce a reduction in its $85 billion monthly bond buying program at the end of the meeting on Wednesday, although more believe it will wait until January or March before trimming its purchases.

Persistently low inflation would probably serve as a caution to officials and see the Fed keeping interest rates low for a long time even after it begins to reduce its bond purchases.

A 1.6 percent drop in gasoline prices and a 1.8 percent fall in the cost of natural gas offset increases in electricity, keeping inflation subdued last month.

Gasoline prices had dropped 2.9 percent in October, while natural gas prices had declined 1.0 percent. Food prices rose 0.1 percent in November after ticking up by the same margin the prior month.

Within the core CPI, apparel prices fell for a third straight month in November, reflecting discounts offered by retailers to lure shoppers and reduce inventory.

There were, however, gains in rent, which accounts for about a third of the core CPI. The rent index increased 0.3 percent after gaining 0.1 percent in October.

Owners' equivalent rent of primary residence increased 0.3 percent after rising 0.2 percent in October.

Demand of rental housing has been rising as Americans shift away from owning a home, putting upward pressure on rents.

Medical care costs were flat, while prices for new vehicles fell for a second straight month.

You May Like

FIFA Indictments Put Gold Cup Tournament Under Cloud

Experts say US indictments could lead to charges of other world soccer officials, and lead to major shakeup in sport's governance More

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

At a recent even in Seoul, border communities promoted benefits of increased cooperation and North Korean defectors shared stories of life since the war More

Video VOA EXCLUSIVE: Iraq President Vows to Fight IS 'Until They Are Killed or We Die'

In wide-ranging interview with VOA Persian service reporter, Fuad Masum describes conflict as new type of fight that will take time to win More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.9205
JPY
USD
123.69
GBP
USD
0.6508
CAD
USD
1.2456
INR
USD
64.051

Rates may not be current.