Get Ready to Worry About Inflation Again

Investors haven’t had to worry too much about inflation lately. In the coming year, that might no longer be the case.

The Labor Department on Wednesday reported that consumer prices were unchanged in November from October, putting them 2.2% above their year-earlier level. Core prices, which exclude food and energy prices to better capture inflation’s trend, rose 0.2% from October, and were up 2.2% on the year.

The core inflation reading was in keeping with the price gains over much of the year, and consistent with the 2% that the Federal Reserve, using a slightly different inflation measure, has targeted. It was just the sort of report, in other words, that has allowed investors to concentrate on other things such as whether the recent tumult in stocks and global worries might persuade the Fed to dial back its rate-increase plans.

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