WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) – U.S. wholesale prices posted a record 0.8% decline in January after an unprecedented drop in energy costs, the Labor Department said Wednesday. Economists polled by MarketWatch had predicted a seasonally adjusted 0.5% decline. So-called core prices that exclude the volatile categories of food, energy and trade fell a much smaller 0.3%. The price of goods fell sharply owing to a 10.3% decrease in energy costs. Gasoline prices in particular tumbled 24%, the biggest drop since 2008. The price of services slipped 0.2% last month. Producer prices have shown zero change in the past 12 months because of plunging energy costs. The core PPI is up 0.9% in the same span, however.