United States consumer inflation up 0.4 pct due to surging gasoline prices

13 December, 2017, 16:35 | Author: Regina Silva
  • The Producer Price Index which tracks changes in the costs of wholesale goods and services rose 0.4 percent in November

Wholesale prices rose 0.4 percent in November, driving the year-to-date increase to 3.1 percent - the biggest annual jump in almost six years, the Labor Department said Tuesday. In the 12 months through November, the price of doctor visits fell 1.8 per cent, the biggest decline since records started in 1947.

The Fed's preferred inflation measure, the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index excluding food and energy, has consistently undershot the USA central bank's 2 per cent target for nearly 5-1/2 years.

The Department of Labour said Wednesday that November's data means the annual inflation rate hit 2.2 per cent for the 12-month period. There are concerns among some policymakers that the factors behind the tame inflation could prove more persistent.

Prices for U.S. Treasuries rose on the core CPI data, while the dollar fell against a basket of currencies.

The Fed officials were due to gather for a two-day policy meeting starting later yesterday. The unemployment rate is at a 17-year low 4.1 per cent.

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Mounting gasoline prices helped drive US consumer inflation higher in November, pushing the annual measure above the USA central bank's target, according to a government report Wednesday.

The central bank tracks the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index excluding food and energy, which has undershot the Fed's 2 per cent target for almost 5-1/2 years. The core CPI is seen rising 0.2 per cent for a second straight month.

The index for final demand goods advanced 1.0% in November, the fourth consecutive increase.

Costs of light trucks, pharmaceuticals, beef and residential electric power also moved higher. Prices for passenger cars accelerated 0.5 per cent last month, the largest increase since December 2016, after being unchanged in October. Housing prices rose 0.2 percent. That increase was paced by a 15.8 percent surge in gasoline costs, the sharpest one-month gain in gasoline prices since an 18.6 percent jump in August 2009. Those costs feed into the Fed's preferred core PCE price index.

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