November 2023 CPI Reveals Mixed Inflationary Signals in the US

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) for November 2023 revealed a nuanced picture of the U.S. economy, with overall inflation cooling slightly on an annual basis. Consumer prices rose 3.1% over the past year, a modest slowdown from October’s 3.2% rise.

Data source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


Energy prices played a significant role in tempering the overall inflation rate. The energy index fell by 2.3% month-over-month, heavily influenced by a sharp 6.0% drop in gasoline prices. This decline in energy costs, however, contrasted with persistent price pressures in other sectors.

Core CPI

The core CPI climbed 4.0% on an annual basis, a rate consistent with the previous month and marking the first time since March that the annual core inflation rate did not decline. This indicates underlying inflationary pressures in the economy, despite the fall in energy prices.


The shelter (housing) sector index saw a significant annual rise of 6.5%, contributing substantially to core inflation. This increase in housing costs, reflected in both rent and owners’ equivalent rent, indicates mounting pressure in the housing market. These factors combined accounted for nearly 70% of the total increase in core inflation.


Food prices also showed an upward trend. The overall food index climbed 2.9% over the last year, with a 0.2% rise from October to November. Notably, egg prices surged by 2.2% month-over-month, highlighting specific areas of growing food costs.

Other sectors

Other sectors exhibited mixed trends. Medical care and motor vehicle insurance saw increases, while prices for used cars, which had been decreasing, unexpectedly rose by 1.8% in November. This complex array of price changes across different sectors underscores the varied inflationary pressures affecting the U.S. economy.


The November 2023 CPI report illustrates a complex economic landscape in the United States. While the slight decrease in the overall annual inflation rate and the significant drop in energy costs provide some relief, the persistent rise in core inflation, particularly in housing and food, poses ongoing challenges. These trends highlight the delicate balance the Federal Reserve faces in navigating monetary policy, as it seeks to curb inflation without hindering economic growth. As 2023 closes, the CPI report offers crucial insights into the evolving dynamics of the U.S. economy, reflecting both easing and enduring inflationary pressures.