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CPI Numbers: Unchanged And Better Than Expected

Friday, 15 Dec 2006 | 8:42 AM ET

Here are the U.S. Consumer Price Index (CPI) numbers for November: unchanged--which is far better than the 0.2% increase than many economists had expected. The core rate--which excludes the volatile food and energy sectors--was also unchanged. Economists had been looking for a 0.2% increase there as well. Economists were also expecting the key inflation index to have risen in November on the back of higher energy costs, after falling 0.5% in both September and October.

The no change in core CPI came after three increases in the past four months. In October, the core rate inched up 0.1%. The core CPI peaked at 2.9% in September.

What's it all mean? CNBC's Steve Liesman said on "Squawk Box" that the threat of inflation is pretty low. He said any minor increases in areas like medical care were off set by declines in prescription drugs.

John Silvia is Chief Economist at Wachovia. He too said the report was good news for the markets--and good news for the U.S. economy next year.

Recipe for Recession?
In theory, slumped auto and housing numbers lead to recession, but many on Wall Street say it's different this time. Insight with Mark Weisbrot, Ctr. for Economic and Policy Research Co-Director; John Silvia, Wachovia Chief Economist; and CNBC's Steve Liesman.

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