Parler Share

Cheaper gas sends US consumer prices down 0.1 pct

Parler Share

WASHINGTON (AP) — Consumer prices slipped 0.1 percent last month, pulled down by sharply lower gas prices and cheaper air fares, used cars, and mobile phone plans.

The consumer price index rose just 1.9 percent in December from a year earlier, the Labor Department said Friday, the first time it has fallen below 2 percent since August 2017.

Excluding the volatile energy and food categories, core prices rose 0.2 percent for the third month in a row. They rose 2.2 percent from a year ago for the second straight month.

The figures suggest that the healthy economy is not yet creating widespread inflation pressures. That gives the Federal Reserve more leeway in deciding whether to raise short-term interest rates. Fed Chair Jerome Powell has said the Fed can be “patient” regarding rate hikes this year.

Charles Evans, president of the Fed’s Chicago regional bank, said Wednesday that mild inflation data allows the Fed to “wait and carefully take stock of the incoming data and other developments” before deciding on future rate hikes.

Trending:
Best Buy and Home Depot Forced to Take Drastic In-Store Measures to 'Stop the Bleeding' Caused by Crime Surge

Fed policymakers lifted short-term rates four times last year and have forecast two more hikes this year. Yet investors and some analysts think that slower U.S. and global growth this year, combined with low inflation, will keep the Fed from raising rates at all.

Gas prices plunged 7.5 percent in December, the most in almost three years. They have since fallen further: Gas prices averaged $2.24 a gallon nationwide on Friday, according to AAA, down from $2.41 a month ago. That reflects a steep drop in oil prices, which have tumbled partly over fears of weakness in the global economy.

Food costs rose 0.4 percent last month, the biggest increase in 4 ½ years. Fruit and vegetable prices jumped 1.7 percent while the cost of eating out rose 0.4 percent.

The cost of many goods was unchanged in December: Prices for clothes, shoes, and new cars were flat.

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →



We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Tags:
Parler Share
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands. Photo credit: @AP on Twitter
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
Location
New York City




Conversation