May 12, 2020 - Economy & Business

Consumer Price Index posts largest decline since 2008

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Downtown Los Angeles on May 5. Photo: Al Seib/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The U.S. consumer price index dropped by 0.8% in April, the second straight month prices have fallen and biggest decline since 2008, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced on Tuesday. The consumer-price index excluding food and fuel costs fell 0.4%, the largest monthly decrease for that indicator.

Why it matters: The number illustrates how business closures and government restrictions due to the coronavirus have slashed demand. Gasoline prices fell by 20.6% during the month. The indexes for apparel, motor vehicle insurance and airline fares all posted record declines, per Bloomberg. Lodging also fell sharply.

  • But the cost of food at home surged 2.6%, its biggest increase since 1974.
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