U.S. consumer prices drop on cheaper gasoline

U.S. consumer prices declined last month as the cost of gas fell sharply and food prices were unchanged. The tame reading is the latest evidence that the sluggish economy is keeping inflation in check.

The consumer price index declined a seasonally adjusted 0.2 percent in March, after jumping 0.7 percent in February, the Labor Department said Tuesday. Gas prices fell 4.4 percent, reversing part of February's 9.1 percent gain.

The figures come a day after the prices of many commodities fell in response to a report of slower than expected growth in China. That suggests U.S. consumer prices will likely stay low in the coming months.

- Associated Press

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