Inflation Takes a Month Off

The consumer price index shows steady prices in February.

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You might not know it by looking at your gas station receipt, but the government says February was actually a mild month for consumer prices. The Labor Department announced (.pdf) today that prices were essentially unchanged last month, after a 0.4 percent increase in January. Core inflation (excluding food and energy) also stayed put.

Energy costs actually declined, and food costs kept steady. That energy price decline is little comfort, however, as the drop came mainly at the beginning of February, and prices have since shot up. February's results left the consumer price index for urban consumers 4 percent higher than it was a year earlier.