US consumer inflation eased in November as gas prices fell, illustrating a further cooling of most costs and strengthening the Federal Reserve’s strategy of keeping interest rates higher for now.
The consumer price index rose 0.1% last month, leaving it 3.1% higher than a year ago, the Labor Department said reported on Tuesday. The figure is in line with the expectations of economists surveyed by FactSet.
The so-called core CPI – which excludes volatile food and energy costs – rose 0.3% after a 0.2% rise in October and rose 4% from a year earlier for the second straight month.
The numbers support the case for keeping interest rates steady as the Federal Open Market Committee begins a two-day meeting on Tuesday.
“Interest rates are at a peak and the incoming data will show a further cooling of inflation and an easing of labor market conditions. This should allow the Fed to cut interest rates, probably in the middle of next year,” Rubeela Farooqi, chief economist. at High Frequency Economics, said in a report.
Wall Street took the economic report in stride, with stock futures continuing to gain after the release.
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