The consumer price index fell in September for the second month in a row, largely because of another big drop in gasoline prices. The CPI declined by a seasonally adjusted 0.2% last month, the government said Thursday. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected a 0.2% drop.Gasoline prices slumped 9%, the Labor Department said. Food prices rose 0.4%, however. Excluding food and energy, so-called core consumer prices increased 0.2% in September. Over the past 12 months the main CPI has shown zero increase in unadjusted terms. Core prices are up 1.9% in the same span. Real or inflation-adjusted hourly wages, meanwhile, edged up by 0.1% in September. Real wages have climbed a modest 2.2% in the past 12 months.
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