U.S. Inflation Beats in November

Consumer prices south of the border picked up more steam than expected in November. Experts suggest this could further support the Federal Reserve’s intention not to cut interest rates again in the near term after reducing borrowing costs three times this year.

Figures released Wednesday by the U.S. Labor Department revealed the consumer price index increased 0.3% last month as households paid more for gasoline. The CPI advanced 0.4% in October. In the 12 months through November, the CPI rose 2.1% after gaining 1.8% in October.

Economists had forecast the CPI climbing 0.2% in November and rising 2.0% on a year-on-year basis.

Take out the volatile food and energy components, and the CPI is found to have risen by 0.2%, matching October’s increase. It was lifted by gains in healthcare and prices of used cars and trucks, recreation and hotel and motel accommodation.

In the 12 months through November, core CPI increased 2.3% after a similar gain in October.

The Fed tracks the core personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index for its 2.0% inflation target. The core PCE price index rose 1.6% on a year-on-year basis in October and has undershot its target this year.