PRICES FLAT: Consumer prices, outside of energy and food, were unchanged in September. Core consumer prices rose only 0.8 percent in the past year, the smallest gain since March 1961.
NO PRICING POWER: The report shows businesses are reluctant to raise prices, for fear of scaring away cost-conscious consumers. That has raised concerns about deflation, a widespread and debilitating drop in prices and wages.
MORE FED ACTION: Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke cited the risk of deflation in a speech Friday in which he said the central bank is prepared to take further steps to boost the economy.