WASHINGTON (AP) _ Social Security recipients will get a 2.6 percent cost-of-living increase in their monthly checks next year, which translates into an extra $22 a month for the average retiree.

Next year's increase, announced Friday for more than 50 million Social Security recipients, is smaller than this year's 3.5 percent boost _ a nine-year high _ because inflation pressures have slowed.

``Today's news tells us that inflation continues to be low, which is certainly good news for the elderly and disabled,'' said Larry G. Massanari, acting commissioner of the Social Security Administration.

Monthly Social Security checks are adjusted annually to keep rising prices from eroding recipients' income.