The cost of a gallon of gas kept rising last year, but not at the torrid pace of 2010 and 2011. That helped keep inflation in check. Joe Raedle/Getty Images hide caption itoggle caption Joe Raedle/Getty Images The Two-Way Inflation Rate Slowed Sharply In 2012; Prices Were Flat In December January 16, 2013 Consumer prices rose just 1.7 percent in 2012, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. That's about half the pace of 2011 — when prices went up 3 percent. A sharp slowing in the increase of gas prices was a major factor. The news means interest rates will likely stay low.