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Inflation check: Energy prices fall most since 2009 on gas plunge

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Wholesale prices slipped 0.8% last month for the second straight month as gasoline prices plunged.

In its deepest dip since May, the Labor Department’s producer price index fell 0.8% in November after sliding 0.2% in October. The index rose 1.1% in September.

A major factor? Plummeting gas prices, which sank 10.1% after spiking 9.8% just two months earlier. At the moment, a gallon of regular gas costs $3.30 on average nationwide, according to the AAA Fuel Gauge, down from $3.44 a month ago.

The gasoline tumble made up more than 90% of the overall 4.6% drop in energy prices -- the most substantial fall since March 2009. 

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Food costs, however, more than made up for the energy dip by rising for the sixth straight month in a row. The 1.3% increase is the largest in nearly two years.

Beef and veal prices soared 30% alone in November. Vegetables also experienced an 11.8% wholesale price hike.

But when factoring out the volatile food and energy portions, the core producer price index inched up 0.1% last month. From November of last year, overall wholesale prices are up 1.5% in the most minimal year-over-year gain since July.

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