U.S. Consumer Prices Rise for Fourth Consecutive Month

Washington, Rabi’I 16, 1438, Dec 15, 2016, SPA — U.S. consumer prices moderated in November, but the cost of living rose for a fourth consecutive month amid rising rents, the government reported Thursday, pointing to firming inflation approaching the Federal Reserve (Fed) goal.
The Labor Department said its consumer price index (CPI)—the broadest of three price gauges because it includes all goods and services—rose 0.2 percent last month as gasoline price increases slowed and food costs remained tame. CPI rose 0.4 percent in October. Over the past 12 months, CPI rose 1.7 percent, the biggest gain in two years but still below the Fed’s 2-percent target.
Excluding volatile energy and food costs, core CPI also rose 0.2 percent from a month earlier, when it advanced 0.1 percent. Rents accounted for most of the increase in the core CPI. Despite the increase, core CPI has risen 2.1 percent over the past 12 months.
In November, gasoline costs rose 2.7 percent, following a 7 percent jump the previous month. Food prices were flat for a fifth consecutive month. Within the core-CPI basket, rents increased 0.3 percent last month, and the cost of medical services rose 0.2 percent after being unchanged for two consecutive months.
Prices for new vehicles fell, airline fares dropped for a second consecutive month, and the cost of clothing declined, reversing October’s increase.
–SPA
19:42 LOCAL TIME 16:42 GMT