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The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week, pointing to shrinking labor market slack that could allow the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates again this year despite moderate inflation growth. Inflation could remain sluggish for a while as other data Thursday showed import prices recorded their biggest drop in 15 months in May. In another report, the Labor Department said import prices declined 0.3 percent last month as the cost of imported petroleum products tumbled.In the 12 months through May, import prices rose 2.1 percent, the smallest gain since last December. Import prices rose 3.6 percent year-on-year in April. Consumer inflation measures have slowed in recent months, retreating below the U.S. central bank's 2 percent target.
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