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U.S. consumer prices post first drop in 10 months

Staff Writer |
U.S. consumer prices fell for the first time in 10 months in March, weighed down by a decline in the cost of gasoline.

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The Labor Department said on Wednesday its Consumer Price Index slipped 0.1 percent last month, the first and largest drop since May 2017, after climbing 0.2 percent in February.

In the 12 month through March, the CPI increased 2.4 percent. That was the largest annual gain in a year and followed February’s 2.2 percent increase.

Annual inflation is rising as the weak readings from last year drop from the calculation.

Excluding the volatile food and energy components, the CPI climbed 0.2 percent, matching February’s increase.

The so-called core CPI rose 2.1 percent year-on-year in March, the largest advance since February 2017, after increasing 1.8 percent in February.

The core CPI is now well above the 1.8 percent annual average increase over the past 10 years.

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