Personal income was unchanged for November, a decline from October's 0.5% gain. Labor income was unchanged, as average hourly earnings declined 0.1% and hours worked rose 0.1%. Wage growth has been meager, caused by a variety of factors including low inflation and companies' cost pressures. As the economy nears full employment and inflation pressures rise, wage growth will also rise.
Consumer Price Index
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 0.2% for November, down from October's 0.4% gain. Food was unchanged; energy prices rose 1.2%, a decline from September's 2.9% and October's 3.5% rises. Core CPI was up 0.2% after being up 0.1% in both September and October. The fiscal stimulus anticipated from the incoming President and Congress should lead to increased inflation.
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