US consumer prices fell 0.4 percent in March, the largest monthly decline in five years, as Americans stopped traveling and the cost of gasoline, airfares and hotel rooms plummeted.
March’s decline was the biggest since January 2015, according to the Labor Department.
It follows a 0.1 percent gain in February. Energy costs overall slid 5.8%, with gasoline prices tumbling 10.5 percent.
Airfares plunged a record 12.6 percent, while hotel and motel room prices fell 6.8 percent.
The core consumer price index, excluding food and energy, fell 0.1percent in March, its first monthly decline since January 2010. Consumer prices are up 1.5 percent over the past year while core inflation has risen 2.1percent over the last 12 months.