Inflation in the United States slowed again last month in the latest sign that price increases are gradually cooling despite the pressures they continue to inflict on American households.
Consumer prices rose 7.1% in November from a year ago, the government said Tuesday. That was down from 7.7% in October and a recent peak of 9.1% in June. It was the fifth straight slowdown.
On a month-to-month basis, the consumer price index rose just 0.1% in November, down from 0.4% in October.
Even with last month’s further easing of inflation, the Federal Reserve plans to keep raising interest rates. On Wednesday, the Fed is set to boost its benchmark rate for a seventh time this year, a move that will further raise borrowing costs for consumers and businesses. Economists have warned that in continuing to tighten credit to fight inflation, the Fed is likely to cause a recession next year.
Tuesday’s government report showed that inflation in November was slowed by less expensive gasoline, electricity and used cars, among other items.
Several trends have started to reduce price pressures, though they won’t likely be enough to bring overall inflation back down to levels that Americans were used to anytime soon.
The national average for a gallon of regular gas has sunk from $5 a gallon in June to $3.26 as of Monday. Many supply chains have also unsnarled, helping reduce the costs of imported goods and parts. Prices for lumber, copper, wheat and other commodities have fallen steadily, which tends to lead to lower construction and food costs.