U.S. Consumer Prices Plunge Record 1% in October

Steepest decline since 1947

Amid an accelerating global financial crisis, U.S. consumer prices delclined 1%, the Labor Deparment said on Nov. 19.

The one-month decline in the Labor Department's consumer price index (CPI) was the steepest since the department began publishing seasonally adjusted changes in February 1947 and exceeded analysts' consensus forecast of a 0.8% fall.

The record CPI plunge followed little change in prices in September and August and was led by plummeting oil prices from their July record highs.

Core CPI, excluding food and energy prices, slipped 0.1%.

Over the past 12 months, headline inflation rose to 3.7%, slowing from a 4.9% annual rate in September, while core CPI was 2.2% higher than in October 2007.

Energy prices fell 8.6% in October after a decline of 1.9% in September. On a 12-month basis, energy prices were up 11.5% in October, compared with 23.1% in the prior month.

Gasoline prices also fell at an all-time rate, down 14.2% from September. That factored into a 5.4% decline in transportation prices, the biggest since 1947.

Food prices continued to climb, up 0.3% in October following a gain of 0.6% in September, pushing the annual rate to 6.1%.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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