November consumer prices in the US rose 0.2%, seasonally adjusted, the same as in October, the government reported Friday.

The modest rate may ease lingering fears of inflation at the Federal Reserve Board, which has in the past raised loan-interest rates to slow the economy and inflationary trends. Before seasonal adjustment, the November increase was only 0.1%.

But however the Labor Department gauges it, retail price inflation is up significantly from last year, although the annual rate is still considered modest to moderate for what has been a thriving economy. For the 12 months ended with November, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation gauge showed a 3.4% rate, compared to 2.7% in 1999.

During the first 11 months of 2000, the CPI rose a projected 3.5% seasonally adjusted annual rate, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported.

For competitive or whatever other reasons, price boosts for the recent energy-cost spiral apparently are still being delayed or rejected by many consumer-oriented business sectors, based on the data released yesterday.

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By GlobalData

For foods and beverages, average retail prices were up 0.1% in November, seasonally adjusted, the same as in October and September.

Food/beverage price inflation was a modest 2.3% since November 1999, the BLS said.

Prices on foods alone remained unchanged last month, and were up 2.2% for the 12-month period.

Grocery store food and beverage prices were down 0.1% last month and were up 2.2% for the 12 months.

Here are the CPI’s Food at Home (grocery store price) index and components:

  • Food at Home, down 0.1% in November, up 0.1% in October, up 2.2% for the 12 months ending with November.

  • Cereals and bakery products, down 0.3%, up 0.9%, up 2.3%.

  • Meats, poultry, fish and eggs, down 1%, unchanged, up 3.3%.

  • Dairy and related products, down 0.3%, up 0.2%, down 1.9%.

  • Fruits and vegetables, up 0.7%, up 0.5%, up 3%.

  • Nonalcoholic beverages and related materials, up 0.7%, down 0.5%, up 3%.

  • Other foods at home, up 0.6%, down 0.6%, up 2%.

  • Sugar and sweets, up 0.2%, down 0.2%, up 0.6%.

  • Fats and oils, down 1.2%, up 0.3%, up 0.8%.

  • Other foods, up 1.2%, down 0.8%, up 2.5%; other miscellaneous foods, up 3%, down 0.8%, up 5.9%.

  • Food Away from Home, up 0.1%, up 0.2%, up 2.3%; other food-away, up 0.5%, up 0.5%, up 3.8%.

  • Alcoholic beverages, up 0.5%, up 0.2%, up 3%.

  • Tobacco and related products, up 3.6%, down 2.8%, up 11.1%.

  • Personal care products and services, up 0.2%, up 0.2%, up 2.8%.