Economy Watch: Inflation Muted in November

While inflation is still fairly low, continued increases in consumer price indexes could mean inflation is on the rise, the BLS reports.
By Dees Stribling, Contributing Editor
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers increased 0.2 percent in November, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Thursday. Over the last 12 months, the all items index rose 1.7 percent. So while containing inflation seemed to be a factor in the Fed’s decision to raise interest rates this week, inflation’s still fairly tame.However, that could change. The shelter and gasoline indexes continued to rise in November, the BLS said, and were again the main factors spurring the all items increase. The shelter index was up 0.3 percent in November, while the gasoline index increased 2.7 percent. The price of gas might continue to increase next year, as OPEC and its ilk would like to see.The index for all items without food and energy (the ‘core rate of inflation’) rose 0.2 percent in November after rising 0.1 percent in October. The shelter index accounted for most of the increase, but the indexes for motor vehicle insurance, education, communication, and used cars and trucks also rose.The medical care index was unchanged over the month. Several indexes declined in November, including apparel, household furnishings and operations, airline fares and new vehicles, the BLS calculated.