November US Consumer Prices up 0.3% on Rising Energy Costs

Excluding volatile food and energy prices, so-called core inflation rose 0.2% in November, matching October's increase.

In this Nov. 27, 2019 file photo, from left, Tina Fausto, left, and Olivia Wirtshafter, right, shop with Lilly Flores, second from left, and Laly Rose Stanton the day before the Thanksgiving holiday at a Walmart Supercenter in Las Vegas.
In this Nov. 27, 2019 file photo, from left, Tina Fausto, left, and Olivia Wirtshafter, right, shop with Lilly Flores, second from left, and Laly Rose Stanton the day before the Thanksgiving holiday at a Walmart Supercenter in Las Vegas.
AP Photo/John Locher, File

WASHINGTON (AP) — Higher energy prices lifted U.S. overall consumer prices in November.

The Labor Department said Wednesday that its consumer price index rose 0.3% last month after rising 0.4% in October. Energy prices, led by a 1.1% uptick in gasoline, rose 0.8% in November on top of a 2.7% jump in October.

Excluding volatile food and energy prices, so-called core inflation rose 0.2% in November, matching October's increase. Despite surging in October and November, gasoline prices are down 1.2% over the past year.

Overall consumer prices were up 2.1% and core prices were up 2.3% from November 2018.

That means inflation is in line with the Federal Reserve's target of 2% a year. The Fed has cut the short-term interest rate it controls three times this year, partly to protect a record-breaking U.S. economic expansion from the effects of President Donald Trump's trade war with China.

Over the past year, the price of medical care is up 5.1% and housings costs are up 3.3%. Clothing prices are down 1.6%, and the cost of used and new cars and trucks are also down.

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