WASHINGTON – The US consumer price index (CPI) was unchanged in November compared with October, but the 12-month rate of underlying inflation rate ticked upward to 2.2 percent, the Labor Department said Wednesday.
Overall, the CPI grew 2.2 percent last month compared with November 2017, down from 2.5 percent in October.
But core CPI, which excludes the volatile categories of food and energy, increased year-on-year from 2.1 percent in October to 2.2 percent last month.
The figures were in line with economists’ expectations.
Given the upward trend in core CPI, the Federal Reserve is expected to continue its program of gradual interest-rate hikes.
The Fed’s policy-making body, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), has raised the benchmark federal-funds rate three times this year and it is now in the range of 2 percent-2.25 percent.
Another rate hike is expected to come out of the FOMC’s final meeting of 2018, set for Dec. 18-19.