WASHINGTON - U.S. consumer prices stayed flat in November, held down by falling gas prices. Inflation remains low across the broader economy, giving the Federal Reserve latitude to continue its extraordinary stimulus program.
The Labor Department says the consumer price index was unchanged last month, after dropping 0.1 percent in October.
Gas prices declined 1.6 percent in November to keep overall prices down. Over the past 12 months, consumer prices have risen just 1.2 percent. That is significantly below the Fed's inflation target of 2 percent.
Excluding volatile energy and food costs, core prices rose 0.2 percent in November from October and just 1.7 percent over the past 12 months.
Prices for new vehicles and clothing fell. Those declines were offset by higher prices for home rentals, hotels, airfare, and restaurant meals.