Prices at the wholesale level plunged in February by the largest amount in seven months as a big drop in
energy prices offset higher food costs.
The Labor Department said that wholesale inflation dropped 0.6 percent in February, much larger than the 0.2 percent decline economists had expected.
Excluding food and energy, prices edged up a slight 0.1 percent, in line with expectations.
The deep recession and weak economic rebound are keeping inflation at bay and giving the Federal Reserve leeway to maintain record low interest rates in an effort to build momentum from stronger economic growth.