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Report: Sharpest Drop in US Consumer Prices in 56 Years


U.S. consumer prices posted their sharpest drop in half a century in November.

Thursday's report from the Labor Department says falling energy costs brought prices down a steep six-tenths of a percent for the month.

Economists say energy and food costs can swing widely from month to month, so setting aside those volatile prices may give a clearer picture of inflation in the overall economy.

By that measure, prices rose a modest two-tenths of a percent.

Energy prices soared earlier this year because of hurricane damage.

A separate report says the number of people who lost jobs because of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma now exceeds $600,000.

The report also shows the number of people applying for unemployment insurance rose slightly last week.

Some information for this report provided by Bloomberg, AP and Reuters.

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