WASHINGTON (AP) - Consumer prices fell last month because of a steep drop in gas costs. But Americans paid more for autos and clothes last month.
The Labor Department says the Consumer Price Index fell 0.2 percent because of the decline in gas.
But after excluding volatile food and gas costs, core prices rose 0.3 percent. That was the second straight monthly gain and the largest back-to-back increases since the summer of 2008.
Many of the trends driving the increase in the core index are expected to fade later this year. New car prices rose 0.6 in June, after jumping 1.1 percent in May. Those increases reflect supply shortages stemming from Japan's earthquake, which will ease in the fall.