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Inflation Rate Slowed Sharply In 2012; Prices Were Flat In December

Consumer prices rose just 1.7 percent in 2012, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. That's about half the pace of 2011 — when prices went up 3 percent.

In December, BLS says, prices were unchanged.

One major reason inflation slowed last year: Gas prices went up just 1.7 percent, after gains of 13.8 percent in 2010 and 9.9 percent in 2011. Also, food costs rose 1.8 percent. BLS says that was "a deceleration" from the 4.7 percent increase in 2011.

As Reuters writes, the news that inflation remains in check "should help give the Federal Reserve room to prop up the economy by staying on its ultra-easy monetary policy path." In other words, there's no reason to think the Fed will need to start pushing up short-term interest rates anytime soon.

Copyright 2013 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Writer James Alan McPherson, Winner Of Pulitzer, MacArthur And Guggenheim, Dies At 72

McPherson, the first African-American to win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, has died at 72. His work explored the intersection of white and black lives with deftness, subtlety and wry humor.
NPR

QUIZ: How Much Do You Know About Presidents And Food?

It's week two of the party conventions, and all these speeches are making us hungry. So we made a quiz to test your savvy about presidents and our favorite topic, food.
WAMU 88.5

Your Turn: Ronald Reagan's Shooter, Freddie Gray Verdicts And More

Have opinions about the Democratic National Convention, or the verdicts from the Freddie Gray cases? It's your turn to talk.

NPR

Police Use Fingertip Replicas To Unlock A Murder Victim's Phone

Michigan State University engineers tried 3-D-printed fingertips and special conductive replicas of the victim's fingerprints to crack the biometric lock on his Samsung Galaxy phone.

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