Inflation fears falter as prices fall 0.2 percent in the Tacoma area

Thank furniture and gasoline, but blame booze.

Consumer prices in the greater Tacoma area fell 0.2 percent from June and July, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Wednesday.

While most categories recorded little or no change over the period, the price of gasoline fell 2.4 percent. Household furnishings chaired a 0.4 percent decline while the price of alcoholic beverages iced a 1.2 percent increase.

According to the latest data, inflation remains a distant concern. The latest two-month figure, with a 0.2 percent decline in overall prices, follows a trio of bi-monthly increases of 0.7 percent, 1.6 percent and 0.4 percent in the first half of 2014.

In the latest report, the bureau noted increases of 0.4 percent for groceries and 0.3 percent for food consumed away from home.

Housing costs rose 0.3 percent during the period, while the cost of electricity and natural gas didn’t change.

The cost of clothing rose 0.6 percent and the prices for recreation and education rose 0.5 percent and 0.4 percent respectively.

In the past year, prices in the area have risen 2.1 percent.

Meanwhile, average hourly earnings for employees nationwide increased by 0.4 percent from July to August, the bureau reported.