US consumer prices rise at fastest pace in nearly 39 years

US consumer prices rose 5.7% over the past year, the fastest pace in 39 years, as a surge in inflation confronts Americans with the holiday shopping season under way. The November increase, reported by the Commerce Department, followed a 5.1% rise for the 12 months ending in October, continuing a string of annual price gains that have run well above the 2% inflation target set by the Federal Reserve.

Consumer spending, which accounts for 70% of US economic activity, rose 0.6% in November. Personal incomes, which provide the fuel for future spending increases, rose 0.4% in November, slightly lower than the 0.5% increase in October.

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