A sharp drop in gasoline prices led the consumer price index to fall in January. The CPI posted its first year-over-year drop since 2009. Rich Pedroncelli/AP hide caption toggle caption Rich Pedroncelli/AP Economy Higher Wages, Lower Prices Give Consumers A Break February 26, 2015 Something very unusual is happening in the U.S. economy. Traditionally, workers lose buying power to rising prices. But lately, paychecks and prices have been heading in opposite directions.