Inflation Comes In Under Expectations But Continues To Run Red-Hot In November

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Inflation undershot economist’s expectations in November, growing 0.1% on a monthly basis while falling to 7.1% on an annual basis, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) Consumer Price Index (CPI) Tuesday.

The CPI was expected to show a 0.3% increase on a monthly basis in November, climbing 7.3% annually, according to a survey of Dow Jones economists, CNBC reported. So-called core prices, which discounts the volatile food and energy sectors, continued to fall from September’s 40-year high of 6.6%, to 6.0%, but remained well above the Federal Reserve’s target of 2%, according to the BLS.

The result comes off the back of a higher-than-expected Producer Price Index, released Nov. 9, which estimated inflation of wholesale prices to be 7.4% on an annualized basis in November. (RELATED: Key Inflation Metric Shows High Prices Aren’t Going Anywhere Just Yet)

On a monthly basis, the cost of food climbed 0.5% in November, while the cost of food at home, a category dominated by the price of groceries, climbed 12% on an annual basis, according to the BLS. The cost of energy energy fell 1.6% on a monthly basis, following a 1.8% climb in October, and grew 13.1% on an annualized basis, with the year-over-year cost of electricity and natural gas growing 13.7% and 15.5% respectively.

The report comes one day before the Fed’s Federal Open Market Committee meeting, when the Fed is set to announce another round of interest rate hikes, according to CNBC. In general, economists anticipate the Fed will raise its baseline interest rate, known as the federal funds target rate, from its current level of 3.75% to 4% to at least 5%, regardless of November’s report.

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