U.S. Core CPI Slows in November

Underlying U.S. consumer inflation slowed in November due to weak health-care costs and the biggest drop in apparel prices south of the border since 1998.

Figures released Wednesday by the U.S. Labor Department revealed that its Consumer Price Index excluding the volatile food and energy components ticked up 0.1% also as prices for airline fares and household furnishing fell. The so-called core CPI advanced 0.2% in October.

The department also said the moderation in underlying prices will likely attract the attention of Federal Reserve officials meeting on Wednesday for a second day. There are concerns among some policymakers that the factors behind the tame inflation could prove more persistent.

As a result, the annual increase in the core CPI slowed to 1.7% in November from 1.8% in October.

The Fed’s preferred inflation measure, the personal consumption expenditures price index excluding food and energy, has consistently undershot the U.S. central bank’s 2% target for almost five and a half years.

The department's overall CPI increased 0.4% in November after edging up 0.1% in October. That raised the year-on-year increase in the CPI back to 2.2% from 2% in October.