Economic Indicators for Today: CPI Unchanged; Industrial Production Up
Core inflation, the index for all items less food and energy, was virtually unchanged in November, following an increase of 0.1 percent in October.
- The food and beverages index decreased 0.1 percent in November.
- The index for housing, which was virtually unchanged in October, rose 0.4 percent in November.
- The transportation index declined for the third consecutive month-- down 0.9 percent in November--reflecting price decreases for gasoline, for new and used motor vehicles, and for airline fares.
- The index for apparel declined for the second consecutive month, down 0.3 percent in November.
- Medical care costs rose 0.2 percent in November and were 3.7 percent higher than a year ago.
- The index for education and communication declined 0.2 percent in November.
During the first 11 months of 2006, the CPI rose at a 2.2 percent seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR). This compares with an increase of 3.4 percent for all of 2005.
Source at Department of Labor: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm
The Federal Reserve reported that industrial production was up 0.2% in November, the first increase following two months of declines. The rebound was led by a 0.3% jump in output at factories as auto plants posted a strong 3.7 percent increase following two months of big declines.
- The output of consumer goods increased 0.3 percent and was led by a gain of 1-1/2 percent in the output of durable consumer goods
- The production of business equipment rose 1.2 percent, the fastest pace of increase since July.
- Manufacturing production increased 0.3 percent in November. The output of durable goods rose 0.7 percent, although the gains were spread unevenly among durable goods industries.
- Output at the nation's mines, a category that includes oil production, fell by 0.2 percent while output at utilities was down 0.1 percent.
The rate of capacity utilization for total industry held steady at 81.8 percent, a level 0.8 percentage point above its 1972-2005 average.