By PAUL WISEMAN
AP Economics Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) — Higher energy and housing prices boosted overall U.S. inflation in December, a sign that the Federal Reserve’s drive to slow inflation to its 2% target will likely remain a bumpy one. Overall prices rose 0.3% from November and 3.4% from 12 months earlier. Excluding volatile food and energy costs, though, so-called core prices rose just 0.3% month over month. Core prices were up 3.9% from a year earlier — the mildest such pace since May 2021. Economists pay particular attention to core prices because, by excluding costs that typically jump around from month to month, they are seen as a better guide to the likely path of inflation.