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U.S. consumer prices flat

Staff Writer |
U.S. consumer prices were unchanged in November, held back by a sharp decline in the price of gasoline, but underlying inflation pressures remained firm amid rising rents and healthcare costs.

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The strength in underlying inflation reported by the Labor Department on Wednesday supports views that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates at its Dec. 18-19 policy meeting. The U.S. central bank has hiked rates three times this year.

November's flat reading in the Consumer Price Index, which was the weakest in eight months, followed a 0.3 percent increase in October. In the 12 months through November, the CPI rose 2.2 percent, the smallest gain since February, after advancing 2.5 percent in October.

Excluding the volatile food and energy components, the CPI climbed 0.2 percent, matching October's gain. That lifted the year-on-year increase in the so-called core CPI to 2.2 percent from 2.1 percent in October.


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