The cost of living in the U.S. fell in April for a second month, the first back-to-back declines in inflation since late 2008, as fuel prices retreated.
The consumer-price index decreased 0.4 percent, the biggest decrease since December 2008, after falling 0.2 percent in March, according to Labor Department figures released today in Washington. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg projected a 0.3 percent drop, according to the median estimate. The so-called core price measure, which excludes more volatile food and energy costs, increased 0.1 percent, less than projected.
Cheaper fuel costs are helping consumers overcome the burden of higher taxes and anemic wage gains by freeing up extra cash to spend elsewhere. Apart from receding energy expenses, subdued gains in the price of other goods and services give officials at the Federal Reserve latitude to adjust policy should they decide the economy needs more monetary stimulus.
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