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Ahead of the Bell: US consumer prices

December 15, 2015 GMT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Labor Department reports on consumer prices for November. The report will be issued at 8:30 a.m. EST Tuesday.

LOW INFLATION: The expectation is that consumer prices were unchanged in November, according to a survey of private economists by data firm FactSet.

ENERGY COSTS: In October, the consumer price index rose 0.2 percent after falling in the prior two months. The uptick was driven by higher prices for food, shelter and medical care.

Given the recent declines in energy costs, economists are looking for overall consumer prices to drop in November.

Nationwide gas prices now stand at $2.01 per gallon, according to AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge. That is down from $2.56 a year ago and in some parts of the country the price has already fallen below $2 per gallon.

The Federal Reserve will wrap up two days of discussions on Wednesday amid expectations that officials will vote to boost a key interest rate by a quarter-point, the first increase in nearly a decade.

The Fed’s move is expected even though there are currently no inflation pressures. But Fed Chair Janet Yellen and other Fed officials have said they believe inflation will begin to move up in 2016 as the temporary impacts of falling global energy prices and a rising dollar begin to fade.