Consumer prices fell again in December owing mostly to falling costs of food and gasoline, according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s consumer price index for November, as reviewed by MarketWatch.
The consumer price index declined by seasonally adjusted 0.1% last month. For all of 2015 inflation rose just 0.7%, the second slowest rate in 50 years, the report said.
The low rate was largely the result of the biggest drop in gasoline prices in more than a decade. The cost of food also tapered off toward the end of the year because of falling prices for agricultural goods.
In December, energy prices dropped 2.4% and food costs fell 0.2%.
Taking out food and energy, core prices rose 0.1% in December. The cost of shelter climbed again, reflecting higher prices for homes and rising rent.
Despite the decline consumer prices in December, inflation no longer appears to be receding.
Over the past 12 months the CPI has risen at a 0.7% rate, the highest year-over-year gain since the end of 2014. The annual rate of inflation had briefly turned negative in early 2015.
Inflation-adjusted hourly wages increased 0.1% in December. Real wages have risen 1.8% in the past 12 months.
The CPI for Auto insurance rose 5.7%, up from 5.5% in October.
(Source: Insurance Information Institute)
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