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US inflation pressures lowest since June 1958 - ECRI

 NEW YORK, March 6 (Reuters) - U.S. inflation pressures fell
in February to a fresh 50-year low, indicating consumer prices
may decline further, a research group said on Friday.
 The Economic Cycle Research Institute's U.S. Future
Inflation Gauge (USFIG), designed to anticipate cyclical swings
in the rate of inflation, dropped to 80.9 in February from 81.5
in January, revised down from 81.8.
 The reading was the lowest since June 1958, when it stood
at 79.3.
 "The USFIG has dropped to a fresh 50-year low and remains
in a decisive downswing, underscoring the absence of inflation
pressures and pointing to a further decline in U.S. consumer
prices," said Lakshman Achuthan, managing director at ECRI.
 The gauge was pulled down by disinflationary moves in
measures of labor market conditions and interest rates,
according to ECRI. That was partly offset by positive
contributions from measures of vendor performance, loans and
commodity prices.
 The USFIG annualized growth rate, which smooths out monthly
fluctuations, edged up in February to minus 36.7 percent from
minus 39.1 in the previous month.
 (Reporting by Rodrigo Campos, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)


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