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Originally published May 18, 2013 at 8:43 PM | Page modified May 18, 2013 at 9:00 PM

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US consumer prices fall 0.4 pct. on cheaper gas

A sharp fall in the cost of gas drove a measure of U.S. consumer prices down last month by the most since December 2008. Outside the drop in fuel costs, prices were largely unchanged.

AP Economics Writer

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WASHINGTON —

A sharp fall in the cost of gas drove a measure of U.S. consumer prices down last month by the most since December 2008. Outside the drop in fuel costs, prices were largely unchanged.

The Labor Department says the consumer price index fell 0.4 percent in April from March. An 8.1 percent fall in gas prices was the main reason for the decline.

In the 12 months ending in April, overall prices rose 1.1 percent, the smallest annual gain in 2 1/2 years.

Excluding volatile energy and food costs, core prices ticked up 0.1 percent last month. Rents and new and used cars rose. Airline fares and clothes fell.

Core prices have risen only 1.7 percent in the past 12 months. That's just below the Federal Reserve's 2 percent target.

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