Fed eyes inflation report, with rate increase plan in mind

By Sylvan Lane

The Federal Reserve is hoping to slow its interest rate hikes and give Americans some relief from rising mortgage and car payments. A crucial inflation report could make or break those plans.
The Labor Department is set to release new consumer price index (CPI) data for November on Tuesday, a day before the Fed is expected to increase rates for the final time this year….“The oil prices are a really big, big improvement, and we’re seeing a significant slowdown in mortgage purchasing and a little bit of softening in rents, which is good,” said Karen Shaw Petrou, managing partner at research firm Federal Financial Analytics, in a Monday interview. “But then you look at other key sectors like food, health and consumer goods and inflation is still rip-roaring away.”…