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U.S. Consumer Prices Rise Slightly More Than Expected In November

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A report released by the Labor Department on Wednesday showed consumer prices in the U.S. increased by slightly more than anticipated in the month of November.

The Labor Department said its consumer price index rose by 0.3 percent in November after climbing by 0.4 percent in October. Economists had expected prices to edge up by 0.2 percent.

The bigger than expected increase in consumer prices partly reflected continued growth in energy prices, which climbed by 0.8 percent in November after spiking by 2.7 percent in October. Gasoline prices jumped by 1.1 percent.

Excluding food and energy prices, core consumer prices crept up by 0.2 percent in November, matching the uptick seen in the previous month as well as economist estimates.

A 0.3 percent increase in prices for shelter contributed to the growth along with higher prices for medical care, recreation, used cars and trucks and apparel.

Meanwhile, the report said lower prices for new vehicles and airline fares limited the upside for the core consumer price index.

Consumer prices in November were up by 2.1 percent compared to the same month a year ago, reflecting a notable acceleration from the 1.8 percent increase in October. The annual rate of core price growth was unchanged at 2.3 percent.

"A rise in energy prices pushed headline CPI inflation up to a one-year high last month, but the stability of core inflation suggests that underlying price pressures remain subdued," said Andrew Hunter, Senior U.S. Economist at Capital Economics.

He added, "In that environment, we expect the Fed to remain on the side-lines for a lot longer than today's FOMC meeting."

On Thursday, the Labor Department is scheduled to release a separate report of producer price inflation in the month of November.

Economists expect producer prices to rise by 0.2 percent in November after climbing by 0.4 percent in October. Core producer prices are also expected to edge up by 0.2 percent after rising by 0.3 percent.

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