Consumer Prices Drop

WASHINGTON (December 14, 2012)--A steep drop in gas prices pushed down a measure of U.S. consumer prices last month, keeping inflation mild, the U.S. Labor Department said Friday.

The Labor Department said the seasonally adjusted consumer price index dropped 0.3 percent in November, after a 0.1 percent increase the previous month.

Gas prices fell 7.4 percent, the steepest drop in nearly four years, which offset a 0.2 percent rise in food prices.

In the past year, consumer prices have risen 1.8 percent, down from October's 12-month increase of 2.2 percent.

Excluding volatile food and gas, prices ticked up 0.1 percent in November and have risen 1.9 percent in the past year.

Higher rents, airline fares and new cars pushed up core prices.

The cost of clothing and used cars fell.

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