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U.S. CPI Rises 3.1 Pct in November as Inflation Continues to Cool

U.S. consumer inflation in November rose 3.1 percent from a year ago, down from 3.2 percent in the previous month, as inflation continued to cool amid high interest rates, the U.S. Labor Department reported Tuesday.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) ticked up 0.1 percent in November on a seasonally adjusted basis, after being unchanged in October, according to the department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The index for shelter continued to rise in November, offsetting a decline in the gasoline index, the report noted. The energy index fell 2.3 percent over the month as a 6.0-percent decline in the gasoline index more than offset increases in other energy component indexes.

The latest inflation report showed that the so-called core CPI, which excludes food and energy, edged up 0.3 percent in November, after rising 0.2 percent in October.

Core inflation in October rose 4.0 percent over the last 12 months, as it did for the 12 months ending October. It’s the smallest 12-month change since the period ending in September 2021.

Indexes which increased in November include rent, owners’ equivalent rent, medical care, and motor vehicle insurance. The indexes for apparel, household furnishings and operations, communication, and recreation were among those that decreased over the month.

Desmond Lachman, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and a former official at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), told Xinhua that inflation “appears to be on a clear downward path.”

As inflation slows, market participants overwhelmingly expect the Fed to hold rates at 5.25 to 5.50 percent on Wednesday. According to the CME FedWatch Tool, traders currently see a 98.5 percent chance of the Fed leaving the rates unchanged.