U.S. consumer prices drop 0.2% in June
U.S. consumer prices drop 0.2% in June (by Jeffry Bartash)
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - The U.S. consumer price index fell a seasonally adjusted 0.2% in June while the core rate, which excludes food and energy, rose 0.3%, the Labor Department said Friday. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch expected the CPI to fall 0.2% in June, with a 0.2% increase in the core rate. The overall cost of living for Americans fell for the first time in a year, mainly because of retreating gasoline prices. Energy costs sank 4.4% in June, marking the largest decline since December 2008. Still, consumer prices have risen an unadjusted 3.6% over the past year, The core rate has climbed 1.6% in the same span. In a related report, Labor said real average hourly earnings rose 0.2% in June, almost entirely because of the decline in consumer prices. Average hourly wages were flat.