Consumer Prices Dip in April

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Consumer prices declined in April for the first time in 13 months while core inflation rose over the past year at the slowest pace in 44 years.

The Labor Department reports that consumer prices edged down 0.1 percent last month, reflecting a big fall in energy prices. Core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy, was flat in April. Over the past 12 months, core inflation is up just 0.9 percent, the smallest increase since 1966.

The recession in 2007 and 2008 has banished inflation for the time being, giving the Federal Reserve leeway to keep interest rates at historic lows to help jump-start economic growth. Some economists worry about the possibility of deflation, a destabilizing period of falling prices.

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