News Summary: Food, gas costs drop in December

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NO PRESSURE: Wholesale prices fell 0.2 percent in December, the third consecutive monthly decline. Falling food and gas costs helped. Without food and energy, core wholesale prices ticked up only 0.1 percent.

MORE RELIEF: For the year, the Labor Department index that measures price changes before they reach the consumer rose 1.3 percent in 2012. It rose 4.7 percent in 2011.

WHO CARES?: Low inflation means consumers have more money to spend, which helps the economy. It also gives the Federal Reserve more room to keep interest rates low.