U.S. March Consumer Prices Fall

First annual drop in 54 years

U.S. consumer prices fell 0.1% in March from a month ago and declined 0.4% from a year ago, the first annual drop in more than 54 years, the government said on April 15.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the consumer price index (CPI), a measure of the average price of consumer goods and services purchased by households, decreased 0.1% in March after rising 0.4% in February, according to Labor Department data.

The decrease, it said, was due to a downturn in energy prices, which declined 3% in March after rising 3.3% the previous month.

The department also said that prices in March had decreased 0.4% from a year ago, "the first 12 month decline since August 1955."

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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