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Cheaper gas sends U.S. consumer prices down 0.1 pct.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Consumer prices slipped 0.1 percent last month, pulled down by sharply lower gas prices and cheaper air fares, used cars, and mobile phone plans.

The consumer price index rose just 1.9 percent in December from a year earlier, the Labor Department said Friday, the first time it has fallen below 2 percent since August 2017.

Excluding the volatile energy and food categories, core prices rose 0.2 percent for the third month in a row. They rose 2.2 percent from a year ago for the second straight month.

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