U.S. consumer prices were unchanged in July and actually declined around two percent from the same time a year ago.
Friday's Labor Department report shows inflation dropping at the sharpest rate in decades.
analysts say these readings show inflation is tame for the time being,
which will allow the U.S. central bank to keep interest rates at
The Federal Reserve lowers interest rates to bolster the economy, but raises them to fight inflation.
is being kept in check by the worst slump in consumer spending since
1980, which reduces demand for goods and services and gives companies
less power to raise prices.
Consumer spending may not rebound soon, as a report Friday showed U.S. consumers growing more worried about the economy.
from the University of Michigan shows consumers lost confidence because
of concerns about unemployment and wages. Economists watch consumer
confidence for clues about the consumer spending that drives about
two-thirds of the economy.
A separate government report shows
production at U.S. factories, mines and utilities rose half a percent
in July. It is only the second monthly boost for industrial production
since the recession began in 2007, and reflects increased output by
recovering auto companies.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.