Consumer Prices Were Unchanged in November

consumer prices were unchanged in novemberWASHINGTON (AP) - Consumer prices stayed flat in November, further evidence that inflation has cooled off.

Energy costs dropped for the second straight month, which offset higher prices that Americans paid for food, clothes and medical services.

The consumer price index was unchanged in November, the Labor Department said Friday. That followed a 0.1 percent decrease in October.

Excluding volatile food and energy costs, so-called "core" prices rose 0.2 percent.

A spike in oil and other commodity costs drove up prices last year. In the 12 months ending in November, prices rose 3.4 percent, below October's 3.5 percent pace and the smallest year-over-year rise since April.

Core prices have risen 2.2 percent in the past 12 months, the most in more than three years. More expensive clothing and higher prices for rent have driven the core index up in that time.

Clothing prices have increased at the fastest pace in twenty years over the past 12 months, partly because of higher cotton costs. Clothing costs jumped 0.6 percent last month, the seventh increase in eight months. In the past 12 months, clothing prices have risen 4.8 percent.

Rental costs rose 0.2 percent last month, and 2.4 percent in the past year. That reflects greater demand for apartments and rental properties, as the housing market struggles.

Still, many economists say inflation probably has peaked and is likely to decline next year. Prices for oil and many agricultural commodities have fallen from highs reached in the spring. And slower growth in China and a possible recession in Europe have reduced global demand for energy and other goods.

Gas prices have also declined. Nationwide, gasoline cost an average of $3.26 a gallon Thursday, down from $3.41 a month ago, according to AAA.

A small amount of inflation can be good for the economy. It encourages businesses and consumers to spend and invest money sooner, before inflation erodes its value.

But when prices grow more slowly after a period of sharp cost increases, consumers feel a little wealthier and step up spending. That can lift the economy because consumer spending accounts for 70 percent of economic activity.

Americans increased their spending over the summer as prices eased. As a result, the economy expanded at an annual rate of 2 percent after barely growing in the first half of the year. Economists expect slightly stronger growth in the final three months of the year, in part because of higher consumer spending.

Federal Reserve policymakers and many private economists expect that inflation will fall next year. That would give the central bank more latitude to hold down interest rates and take other steps to stimulate the economy.

The Fed declined to make any new moves at its latest meeting Tuesday. But policymakers repeated their commitment to keep short-term interest rates at a record low near zero until at least mid-2013, as long as the economy remains weak. If there were signs that inflation was increasing to worrisome levels, the Fed would likely raise rates.

The central bank said last month that it expects consumer inflation to fall from about 2.8 percent this year to roughly 1.7 percent next year. That's in the Fed's preferred range for core inflation of about 1.7 percent to 2 percent.

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jdykbpl45

More lies from Obama and his minions: Corzine, Geithner, Bernake, Reid, and Pelosi.
Are you better off with Obama? Do not think so.

December 17 2011 at 3:50 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jdykbpl45's comment
democracks0

OBAMASAFIASCO

December 18 2011 at 4:20 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
chaspharrington

AND WHO TOLD YOU THAT, THE US GOVERNMENT OR CONGRESS, RIGHT!!! AND I AM WAITING FOR THE TOOTH FAIRY, THE EASTER BUNNY AND SANTA CLAUS...

December 17 2011 at 9:08 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
shidelera5

I just built a new yard fence last month and the same lumber would cost 10% more today because the local home depot increased prices on the very material i bought.

December 17 2011 at 12:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
shidelera5

I have noticed allot of business trying to raise prices way up to offset the loss of customers and still earn the same amount of money because noone has any extra money to spend!- even the local walmart is jacking price sky high

December 17 2011 at 12:15 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
shidelera5

Furture evidence that the survey did not check my neighborhood where prices are the only thing going up.

December 17 2011 at 12:12 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
warrenbent

What could be more hilarious than watching the black helicpoter crowd swear the illigetimacy of data absent any evidence?

December 16 2011 at 7:48 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
c320wes

The operative word here is that this is written by the Ass_o__ Press !!!!! According to this article everything has gone up over the last 12 months !!!!!! The only thing they didn't write was the fact that incomes also decreased in Novermber !!!!!! Just think if the Government & The press say there's no inflation it must be fact & you can take that to the bank, but they don't pay any interest either !!!!!!!

December 16 2011 at 4:23 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
bann585

How stupid do you think we are? Consumer Prices Were Unchanged in November? A receipe calls for a 7 oz. can of tuna ---- today's can of tuna weighs 5 oz. According to your article, the price has not gone up. Right!!!!! The cute little pods of coffee cost anywhere from $17 a pound to $27. If you buy the whole lb, bag (which weighs l3 ounces) it is up to $7 a pound. Did you price a Thanksgiving turkey? The regular rotisserie chicken went up $2.00 extra for the Holiday. Be happy consumers, they are not raising all of the prices, on some they are downsizing the product.

December 16 2011 at 4:01 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
arduiniray

Who ever wrote this has not been to the grocery store in a couple of years.
Six months ago I bought Cambells tomato Soup two cans for a buck two hours ago I bought
two cans of the Cambells Tomato Soup for A buck a Can and it seems to be a smaller can.
Is the guy who wrote this a congressmen?

December 16 2011 at 1:47 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to arduiniray's comment
jdykbpl45

Exclusions, lies, and more eclusions from Obama, Reid, Pelosi, Geithner, and huffpost's sycophants.

December 16 2011 at 1:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply