U.S. consumers paid less for goods and services in June, thanks in large part to flat food prices and lower gasoline bills, the government reported Friday.
The Consumer Price Index dropped 0.1% in June, marking the third straight monthly decline since March when prices edged 0.1% higher, according to Labor Department data. The index is the most closely watched indicator for inflation. The decline follows a 0.2% slide in May and a 0.1% dip in April. The last time consumer prices fell for three consecutive months was between October and December 2008.
Sliding energy prices were the biggest contributor, down 2.9% in June, the same decline as in May. Gasoline prices plunged 4.5% to account for "most of the decrease," the Labor Department said. Read more
The American cost of living fell in June, marking a third consecutive monthly decline, according to government data released Friday, July 16, 2010.
Consumer prices edged down 0.1% in June, the Labor Department said in its monthly Consumer Price Index report. The CPI is the key reading of inflation at the consumer level. Lower gasoline prices were a major contributing factor.
"Similarly to April and May, a decline in the energy index caused the seasonally adjusted all items decrease in June," the Labor Department stated. "The index for energy decreased 2.9 percent in June, the same decline as in May, with a decline in the gasoline index accounting for most of the decrease. This more than offset an increase in the index for all items less food and energy, while the food index was unchanged for the second month in a row."
Core consumer prices, which exclude the more volatile food and energy costs, rose 0.2% last month. Read more
U.S. producer prices fell in June to register their biggest decline since February, according to a new government report released Thursday.
Led by lower food and energy costs, the Producer Price Index, or PPI for short, dropped 0.5% in June after falling 0.3% in May and 0.1% in April.
"In June, over eighty percent of the 0.5-percent decrease in the finished goods index can be traced to prices for consumer foods, which fell 2.2 percent," the Labor Department said. "Also contributing to lower finished goods prices, the index for finished energy goods declined 0.5 percent."
The PPI is the measure of inflation before it reaches consumers. Read more