US wholesale prices fall 0.7 pct., most in 3 years

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Sharp drops in fuel and food costs reduced a measure of wholesale prices last month by the most since February 2010, indicating inflation has slowed.

The Labor Department says the producer price index, which measures price changes before they reach the consumer, fell a seasonally adjusted 0.7 percent in April from March. It was the second straight decline.

Gas prices dropped 6 percent. The price of home heating oil fell by the most in almost four years. Food prices declined 0.8 percent.

Excluding the volatile food and energy categories, core prices ticked up 0.1 percent in April.

Overall wholesale prices have increased just 0.6 percent over the past 12 months. That's the smallest yearly gain since July. During the same period, core prices have risen 1.7 percent.

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