Lower prices for gasoline, clothing and having fun helped push overall consumer prices lower for Midwest consumers in December.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said today that the consumer price index declined 0.2 percent last month, largely because energy costs were down 0.4 percent for the middle-of-America states including Missouri and Kansas. Recreation costs also slipped lower.
The index for food costs was fairly static for the month. When food and energy were factored out of the statistics, the cost of all other items was figured to have fallen 0.3 percent in the Midwest in December.
Over the course of 2013, the Midwest consumer price index was calculated to have risen 1 percent. A 0.7 percent rise in food costs over the year was more than offset by a 1.5 percent decrease in fuel costs.
Diane Stafford/The Star