The Bureau of Labor Statistics announced this morning that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) dipped a seasonally adjusted 0.3% in May.
That exceeded the forecast of economists who had predicted a 0.2% fall, Bloomberg noted.
The CPI has risen 1.7% over the last year without a seasonal adjustment, the government said. That increase was down from a 3.9% increase noted in September 2011. The slowing rate of CPI increases was attributed mainly to sliding energy price index, which has fallen 3.9% over the last 12 months.
Gasoline prices fell sharply last month, down 6.8%, causing the energy index to fall and driving down the overall CPI.
Natural gas and fuel oil prices also fell, though electricity prices rose.
Excluding food and energy, the CPI rose 0.2%, marking the third consecutive monthly increase, with housing, health care, clothing, automobile and airfare prices rises driving the increase.
The tobacco and home furnishing prices fell.
Yesterday, the government said that its producer price index (PPI) fell 1% in May. The PPI decline was lead by a 4.3% drop in the index for finished energy goods. The finished consumer foods index also fell 0.6% in May