Consumers saw little change in the prices they paid for most items as prices increased 0.2%, the Labor Department reported today. Prices have increased in eight of the last nine months.

Last month's increase was at the same level as increases in September, October, November and December. During the past 12 months, prices have increased 2.6%.

Excluding food and energy costs, consumer prices fell 0.1%, the first time that index has fallen since 1982. The index rose 1% increase in December and 1.6% in the past year.

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