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.