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Originally published January 16, 2013 at 11:56 AM | Page modified January 17, 2013 at 12:21 PM

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Consumer prices fall in Seattle

Consumer prices in the Seattle area fell 1.4 percent between October and December, mainly due to lower prices for gasoline and clothing.

Seattle Times business reporter

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The fall of consumer prices will be easly offset by rising local taxes MORE
The headline should have read: "Medical costs fall 1.5 percent". Now, that... MORE
"Medical costs fall 1.5 percent"..... don't worry, that's only temporary: ... MORE

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Consumer prices in the Seattle area fell 1.4 percent between October and December, mainly due to lower prices for gasoline and clothing, the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Wednesday.

The 12-month inflation rate in December was 1.4 percent, down from 2.3 percent in October, the Bureau said. (The government measures local consumer prices every other month.) It was the lowest 12-month rate in two years.

Though local food prices rose 0.5 percent between October and December, and rent on a primary residence increased 0.8 percent, those increases were offset by steep drops in other categories.

Gasoline prices, for instance, fell 15.6 percent between October and December. Clothing prices were off 8.4 percent; household gas was down 7.2 percent.

Recreation costs were down 2.7 percent in the Seattle area, medical costs fell 1.5 percent, and alcoholic beverages fell 1.2 percent.

Nationally, the 12-month inflation rate edged lower, to 1.7 percent from 1.8 percent in November. The last month in which Seattle-area inflation was below the national rate was February 2012.

Drew DeSilver: 206-464-3145 or ddesilver@seattletimes.com

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