US consumer prices up 0.2 percent in November

WASHINGTON (AP) Consumer prices rose in November by the smallest amount in three months as a jump in energy prices moderated a bit and food prices remained flat.

The Labor Department says its consumer price index increased 0.2 percent last month after a 0.4 percent October increase.

Energy prices were up 1.2 percent, a slowdown from a 3.5 percent surge in November. The result reflects the fact that gasoline prices rose 2.5 percent last month, less than half the 6.7 percent October gain. Food prices showed no increase for a fifth straight month.

Over the past year, consumer prices are up 1.7 percent, still below the Federal Reserve's 2 percent annual inflation target. The Fed did raise its benchmark interest rate Wednesday, noting that inflation has begun to rise from ultra-low levels.