Consumer Prices Increase in November


Both headline inflation and core inflation increased to 0.2% in November after three straight months of deceleration. In November, the monthly increase in the CPI was broad-based, though inflationary pressures remained weak.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose by 0.2% in November on a seasonally adjusted basis, after no change in October. Excluding the volatile food and energy components, “core” CPI rose by 0.2% in November, after being unchanged in the previous month. The indexes for lodging away from home (3.9%), housing furnishings and operations (0.7%), recreation (0.4%), apparel (0.9%), airline fares (3.5%), and motor vehicle insurance (1.1%) all increased, while the indexes for new vehicles (-0.1%), medical care (- 0.1%), and used cars and trucks (-1.3%) all declined in November.

In November, the price index for a broad set of energy sources rose by 0.4%, after an increase of 0.1% in October. It was the sixth straight increase in energy prices following five consecutive declines at the beginning of 2020, from January to May. The food index declined by 0.1% in November, after a 0.2% increase in October. The index for food at home declined by 0.3% in November, while the index for food away from home continued to rise.

During the past twelve months, on a not seasonally adjusted basis, the CPI rose by 1.2% in November, the same increase as in October. Meanwhile, the “core” CPI increased by 1.6% over the past twelve months, the same increase as in October. The food index rose by 3.7% and the energy index declined by 9.4% over the past twelve months.

BLS data collection in November was again affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. BLS mentioned in the today’s news release that many indexes are based on smaller amounts of collected prices than usual, and a small number of indexes that are normally published were not published this month.

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