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Key inflation measure shows price pressures cooled off in November, but remain high

New York

Another key inflation measure shows price pressures cooled off but remained stubbornly high in November, despite the Federal Reserve’s monthslong efforts to fight inflation through higher interest rates.

The Producer Price Index, which measures prices paid for goods and services by businesses before they reach consumers, rose 7.4% in November compared to a year earlier, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday. That’s down from the revised 8.1% gain reported for October.

Stripping out volatile food and energy prices from the reading, prices rose 6.2% for the year ending in November, down from the revised 6.8% increase the previous month. Economists had forecast only a 5.9% increase.

US stock futures fell immediately after the pre-market report, as the higher-than-expected inflation readings raised concerns about whether the Fed will be able to slow the pace of rate hikes. But futures for the Fed funds rate still show a strong likelihood of a half-point increase at the central bank’s policymaking meeting next week, rather than the three-quarter point hike instituted at the last four meetings.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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