Consumer Prices Slump 0.4% as Virus Puts Chill on Spending
WASHINGTON (AP) — Consumer prices fell 0.4% in March, the largest decline in five years, with the price of gasoline, airline fares and hotel rooms all down, indicating the coronavirus was having an impact.
The Labor Department said that last month’s decline was the largest monthly drop since January 2015. Consumer prices had been up a slight 0.1 percent in February.
Energy costs were down 5.8% in March with gasoline prices falling by 10.5%. Airline fares plunged 12.6% while lodging away from home, the category for hotel and motel prices, dropped 6.8%.