RELIEF FOR POCKETBOOKS: Consumer prices dipped for the second straight month. Less expensive energy prices were the main factor behind the decline. Food prices were flat.
GOOD FOR THE FED, TOO: Tame inflation means the Federal Reserve has leeway to keep holding a key interest rate at a record low near zero when it meet next week and probably into much of next year as well.
RESTRAINING FORCES: The tepid economic recovery is keeping consumers cautious. That makes it harder for companies to jack up prices.