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It downloads meta data which needs to be kept up to date to get you the latest packages. You can do a few things:

Increase your cache timeout:

Read man yum.conf, look for a metadata_expire.

Use the -C command: yum -C install XXX. Read man yum for more information.

Please note that this might give you conflicts etc. at times. When this happens, please use yum clean all and then re-run the yum command.