Costs for housing, food, energy and other items barely bugde in November



NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Costs for housing, food, energy and other items barely budged in November, according to a Labor Department.

The Labor Department's consumer price index showed no change during the month after falling 0.1% in October. Economists had expected to see an increase of 0.1%, according to Thomson Reuters.

Excluding volatile food and energy costs, core prices edged up 0.2%, slightly more than the 0.1% rise economist expected for November. Core prices saw a 0.1% gain in October.

The core measure of prices has eased in the past two months after showing an increase of more than 0.2% per month for five straight months, according to Ian Sheperdson, economist with High Frequency Economics.

"The abrupt downshift in the monthly numbers reflects a sudden swing in vehicle and clothing prices, both of which surged in the spring, though for different reasons," he wrote in a research note before today's release. "Auto prices jumped as a result largely of the supply chain disruptions caused by the Japanese earthquake in March, while clothing prices were lifted by the lagged effect of the surge in raw cotton prices in 2010."

Rent remains the only significant factor pushing core consumer prices upward, explains Sheperdson. He added that the core rate is still expected to increase, albeit at a slower pace, as rent, which accounts for almost 40% of the core, is forecast to pick up over the course of next year.

However, a small increase in the core rate isn't likely get economists worried about inflation next year.

-- Written by Chao Deng in New York.