Inflation slowed more sharply than expected in November in an encouraging sign, but the Federal Reserve plowed ahead yesterday with another half-point increase in interest rates, bringing them to their highest point since the 2008 recession. Inflation eased somewhat through the month of November with annualized prices increasing 7.1 percent, down from 7.7 percent last month. At the same time, the data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that real average hourly earnings for all employees increased 0.5 percent from October to November. The half percent increase stems from a 0.6 percent increase overall in average hourly earnings offset by an increase of 0.1 percent in the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Real average hourly earnings decreased 1.9 percent for November year over year. The University of Michigan Survey of Consumers shows consumer sentiment improving slightly in early December, rising 2.3 points to a total of 59.1 points. For comparison however, the same measure stood at 70.6 in December 2021.