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U.S. Consumer Prices Fall for First Time Since January

Wall Street Journal (09/16/15) Josh Mitchell; Kate Davidson

Consumer prices declined in August, primarily because of depressed oil markets, marking the first decline since January and complicating the U.S. Federal Reserve’s decision about when to increase interest rates. The consumer-price index fell 0.1% from July, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Excluding the energy and food categories, core prices increased 0.1%. Economists polled by the Wall Street Journal had forecast overall prices would be flat and core prices would rise 0.1%.

Consumer prices increased just 0.2% in August from a year ago, while core prices rose 1.8%.

Meanwhile, employees’ inflation-adjusted weekly earnings increased 0.7% in August, according to a separate DOL report. Average hourly earnings, adjusted for inflation, increased 0.5%, the largest increase since January. The average work week grew 0.3%.