Consumer Prices Tumble In December

Inflatable santa deflatedREUTERS/Mark BlinchAn inflatable Santa Claus decoration.

Consumer prices collapsed in December.

According to the December consumer price index from the BLS, prices fell 0.4% in December, the biggest monthly decline since December 2008.

Compared to last year, prices rose 0.8%, more than the expected 0.7% increase.

“Core” inflation, which strips out food and energy prices, which tend to be more volatile, were flat compared to last month and 1.6% against the prior year.

“Core” inflation was expected to edge up 0.1% over last month and rise 1.7% when compared to the prior year.

The decline in gas prices was largely responsible for the drop in prices, with the gasoline index falling 9.4% in December and the energy index dropping 9.1%, its largest monthly decline since December 2008.

The shelter index, meanwhile, continued to rise, climbing 0.2% over November and 2.9% against last year in December, while the medical care index rose by the most since August 2013.

Here’s the CPI breakdown from the BLS.

More to come …

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