U.S. consumer prices recorded their biggest drop in nearly six years in November as gasoline prices tumbled, but this probably will do little to change views the Federal Reserve will start raising interest rates in mid-2015.
The Labor Department said on Wednesday its Consumer Price Index fell 0.3 percent last month, the largest decline since December 2008, after being flat in October.
In the 12 months through November, the CPI increased 1.3 percent, the smallest gain since February, after advancing 1.7 percent in October.
Wall Street had forecast the CPI slipping only 0.1 percent from October and rising 1.4 percent from a year ago.
Underlying price pressures are also ebbing a bit after showing some signs of creeping up in October.
Stripping out food and energy prices, the so-called core CPI edged up 0.1 percent after rising 0.2 percent in October. In the 12 months through November, the core CPI rose 1.7 percent after increasing 1.8 percent in October.
The Fed targets 2 percent inflation and it tracks an index that is running even lower than the CPI.
Plunging crude oil prices, which hit a fresh 5-1/2 year low this week on increased shale production in the U.S. and slowing global demand, are keeping overall inflation in check for now.