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Discounting Is Helping Keep U.S. Inflation Tame

Core consumer goods prices have increased in just two of the last 16 months

America is on sale. The cost of goods excluding food and fuel has declined in 14 of the last 16 months, underscoring how commonplace discounting has become at U.S. merchants, the latest Labor Department consumer-price data show. Monthly changes in so-called core goods inflation have been unchanged on average since 2000 and reflect the Amazon-ing of retailing and globalization. Representing about a fifth of the CPI, tame core goods costs also show why it’s been so tough for inflation to reach the Federal Reserve’s goal.

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