WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. producer prices edged down in February as both the cost of energy and food declined. The decline was the fifth drop in the past seven months, underscoring that inflation remains a no-show.

WASHINGTON (AP) U.S. producer prices edged down in February as both the cost of energy and food declined. The decline was the fifth drop in the past seven months, underscoring that inflation remains a no-show.

The Labor Department says its Producer Price Index, which measures price pressures before they reach the consumer, declined 0.2 percent in February after a 0.1 percent increase in January. Core inflation, which excludes energy and food, was unchanged in February after a 0.4 percent jump in January. Over the past 12 months, producer prices overall are flat and core prices are up 1.2 percent.

The Federal Reserve, which begins a two-day meeting Tuesday, is expected to leave interest rates unchanged as policymakers watch for evidence that ultra-low inflation has moving closer to the Fed's 2 percent target.