Consumer prices held steady in November, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Tuesday, bringing inflation on an annual basis up to 0.5 percent from 0.2 percent the month before.

The report was in line with investors' expectations for inflation to slow to a standstill on an monthly basis, adjusted for seasonal fluctuations.

The underlying signs, however, point toward prices rising faster. That will reassure Chairwoman Janet Yellen and other officials at the Federal Reserve, who meet Tuesday morning in Washington, D.C., to discuss the possibility of tightening monetary policy and have been looking for confirmation of inflation rising toward the Fed's 2 percent target.

Core inflation, a measure of price changes that strips out the volatile elements of energy and food, rose even higher in November to 2 percent. It's been even higher in recent months.

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