Gasoline prices fell more than 20 percent in September, the biggest decline on record. That has fueled the biggest drop in overall wholesale inflation in more than three years.

The drop is just what the Federal Reserve hoped its policies would cause. A cool down of the economy is slowing inflationary pressures.

The slowing of the nation's housing market is also weighing in on the economy. Analysts say the housing boom that we've been riding for several years appears to be shrinking.

Associated Press economics writer Martin Crutsinger reported this week that wholesale prices fell by 1.3 percent. That was nearly double the expected decline.

Factory output fell, too, with auto manufacturers and makers of consumer products trimming their inventories. Few want to get caught with excess inventories.

When September's fuel and food prices were excluded, inflation jumped 0.6 percent, the highest in 20 months. Fed governors are intent on keeping inflation in check. They believe such a policy outweighs the problems from slower economic growth.

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