CPI Report: Inflation Was Slightly Less Terrible in November

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Goods and services are getting less expensive in response to the Federal Reserve’s persistent increases in interest rates. But prices are still higher than they were a year ago.  

Consumer prices are up 7.1% year-over-year as of November 2022, according to Tuesday’s Consumer Price Index report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Consumer Price Index tracks the impact of inflation through the change in average prices that consumers pay for goods and services, such as groceries and gas. Tuesday’s report showed the smallest year-over-year increase in the index for any previous month since December 2021. 

Month-to-month, consumer prices rose 0.1% from October to November, a lower increase compared with the 0.4% change from September to October, BLS data show.

The shelter index, which has risen 0.6% since October, was the most significant contributor to overall price increases. Food prices are up, too. Both groceries and restaurant food increased by 0.5% month-over-month. Food, overall, is up 10.6% compared with the previous year, not seasonally adjusted.  

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But there’s good news, too: Energy prices are going down (-1.6%) compared with the previous month when energy costs rose (+1.8%). Those decreases in energy include gasoline (-2.0%), electricity (-0.2%) and utility gas services (-3.5%).   

Here’s what changed: 

Note: All month-to-month changes are seasonally adjusted, but year-over-year changes are unadjusted, per the CPI report. 

Food:

September to October: +0.6%.

October to November: +0.5%.

November 2021 to November 2022: +10.6%.

Shelter:

September to October: +0.8%.

October to November: +0.6%.

November 2021 to November 2022: +7.1%.

Energy (fuel, utilities):

September to October: +1.8%.

October to November: -1.6%. 

November 2021 to November 2022: +13.1%.

Medical care services:

September to October: -0.6%.

October to November: -0.7%.

November 2021 to November 2022: +4.4%.

Transportation services (insurance, airfare, etc.):

September to October: +0.8%.

October to November: -0.1%.

November 2021 to November 2022: +14.2.

New vehicles:

September to October: +0.4%.

October to November: No change. 

November 2021 to November 2022: +7.2%.

Used cars and trucks:

September to October: -2.4%.

October to November: -2.9%.

November 2021 to November 2022: -3.3%.

Apparel:

September to October: -0.7%.

October to November: +0.2%.

November 2021 to November 2022: +3.6%.

The Federal Reserve Board, working on taming inflation, is meeting this week and is expected to announce another interest rate hike on Wednesday for seven increases in 2022. However, the upcoming rate increase is largely expected to be lower than the four prior 0.75 percentage point increases.

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