Consumer Prices Rose in November, Pushed by Jump in Gas Prices

(CN) — Consumer prices rose 0.4 percent in November, largely pushed by a jump in gasoline prices, the Labor Department said Wednesday.

Over the past year, the department said, consumer prices are up 2.2 percent, which core inflation has risen 1.7 percent.

Core inflation is a measure of overall prices that excludes more volatile or transitory elements like the price of food and energy.

The Labor Department said the price of gasoline surged 7.3 percent in November after dropping in October.

In a separate report, the department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that real average hourly earnings decreased .02 percent from October to November.

Real average hourly earnings for all employees decreased by a seasonally-adjusted 0.2 percent from October to November. The bureau says the decline stems from a modest 02 percent rise in average hourly wages being offset by the rise in consumer prices.

Meanwhile, the economy is seen as doing quite well. As previously reported by Courthouse News, the economy has been growing at an annual pace of 3 percent or better in each of the last two quarters for the first time since 2014.

In addition, the unemployment rate is at a 17-year low 4.1 percent.

The Federal Reserve later Wednesday is expected to announce its third interest rate hike of 2017.

In related news, House and Senate GOP leaders are said to have forged an agreement on a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s tax laws.

That paves the way for final votes next week to slash taxes for businesses and give most people tax cuts starting next year.

Top GOP aides told the Associated Press the deal was reached Wednesday morning. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the deal.

Details still need to be drafted and assessed by congressional scorekeepers but the final House-Senate compromise is on track to be unveiled this week.

The measure would give President Donald Trump his first major victory in Congress. It fulfills a longstanding goal by top Republicans such as Speaker Paul Ryan to rewrite the loophole-cluttered tax code.

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