Inflation Rises Unexpectedly

Wholesale prices rose a larger-than-expected 1.8% in November after seasonable adjustments, with energy prices accounting for about three-fourths of the increase, the Labor Department reported Tuesday.

The producer price index (or PPI) has risen 2.4% in the past year, the government said. This is the first rise since November 2008. The core PPI - which excludes food and energy prices - rose 0.5% in November, more than expected. Leading the advance: truck and cigarette prices. Core prices are up 1.2% over the past year.

The news is unlikely to change the Fed's decision on whether or not to keep interest rates at a record low Tuesday. But it does add to concerns the central bank's loose monetary policy could lead to greater inflation and new asset bubbles down the road.

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