(Washington, DC) -- Consumer prices plummeted faster than ever before last month while home building slowed to a record low.
The Consumer Price Index plunged one percent in October, even more than Wall Street had expected.
That was the largest monthly decline since the Labor Department started gathering data in 1947.
A Commerce Department report revealed new home building dropped four and a half percent last month to a seasonally adjusted rate of 791,000 new units annually.
At the same time new building permits, which signal future building intentions, sank 12-percent.
The news offered even further proof of a faltering economy that is showing no signs of improvement.
Many economists believe the country is in a recession, but one has yet to be officially declared.
The global credit crunch has already sent Japan and Europe into recession.
Fed chief Ben Bernanke has said the injections of credit and interest rate cuts are loosening credit markets.
Some economists say the nation is now heading into a time of deflation, which like inflation will also hurt the economy.
The big question is whether a massive stimulus package in 2009 will be enough to jump start the economy and get consumers spending again.
(Copyright 2008 by Newsroom Solutions)