Consumer Prices in U.S. Decline More Than Forecast
The cost of living fell more than forecast in November as energy prices dropped, a sign U.S. inflation remains in check.
The 0.3 percent decrease in the consumer-price index was the first drop since May and followed a 0.1 percent gain the prior month, the Labor Department reported today in Washington. The median estimate of 80 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 0.2 percent drop. The core index, which excludes volatile food and energy costs, climbed less than projected.
Facing little threat of inflation, Federal Reserve policy makers this week expanded asset purchases in a continuing bid to reduce unemployment and spur growth. Department stores including the Gap Inc., Macy’s Inc. (M) and J.C. Penney Co. are offering sales in the midst of the holiday shopping season as concern over possible changes in tax rates and government spending hurts consumer confidence.