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Retail Sales Better Than Expected; Wholesale Prices Up 0.8 Percent

Retail sales rose a seasonally adjusted 0.8 lpercent in November from October, the Census Bureau just announced. Bloomberg News says the increase was more than expected.

Meanwhile, prices at the wholesale level rose 0.8 percent in November from October, the Bureau of Labor Statistics just reported.

But if you exclude food and energy costs (which economists do to get a feel for the underlying inflation trend), prices rose a more modest 0.3 percent.

For the year ended Nov. 30, wholesale prices were up 3.5 percent.

There will be more economic news this afternoon, when Federal Reserve policymakers issue their latest statement about how they think the economy is doing and their policies on short-term interest rates and stimulating the economy. Bloomberg News says that "Fed officials are likely to make no change to the stimulus."