US consumer prices dip

Washington, May 17 (IANS/EFE) The US consumer price index dropped 0.4 percent in April, bring the 12-month inflation rate down to 1.1 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Thursday.

Excluding food and energy prices, which tend to be more volatile, the core-CPI inflation rate was 1.7 percent for the 12 months ending April 30.

That is well within the 2 percent inflation the Federal Reserve considers acceptable.

The CPI also fell in March, by 0.2 percent, and this is the first time since the end of 2008 that prices declined in two consecutive months.

Energy prices plunged 4.3 percent last month compared with March, with gasoline falling from $3.69 a gallon to $3.55.

Cheaper gasoline is cushioning the impact on consumers of the increase in Social Security withholding tax that took effect in January.

Food prices, however, climbed 0.2 percent in April, according to the report.



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