Lowest inflation since 1955 in April


Prices at the gas pump may be inching up now, but they fell in April, and that helped keep inflation flat for the month, the U.S. Labor Department announced Friday.

Meanwhile, the core rate for the Consumer Price Index, which excludes the often volatile food and energy component, rose 0.3 percent. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News had expected April consumer prices to remain flat and the core rate to rise 0.1 percent. Consumer prices decreased 0.1 percent in March.

That means, despite large monetary and fiscal stimulus added to the system to combat the financial crisis and recession, inflation is still nowhere in sight. In fact, prices have fallen 0.7 percent in the past 12 months -- the largest decline in 54 years, the Labor Department said. And the core rate is up just 1.9 percent in the past year.