PRICES FLAT: Consumer prices were unchanged in June, held down by cheaper gas. Outside the volatile food and energy categories, inflation was mild.
NO INFLATION: Weak economic growth is limiting the ability of companies to raise prices. The tame inflation picture was underscored by a 0.2 percent drop in consumer prices for the April-June period as a whole. That was the first quarterly drop in consumer prices in two years.
GOOD FOR FED, CONSUMERS: Mild price increases leave consumers with more money to spend, which could spur more growth. Lower inflation also gives the Federal Reserve room to launch new programs to boost the economy.