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Sandy likely boosted metro area prices in November
Superstorm Sandy likely helped to boost prices in the metropolitan area last month. Gasoline prices in particular were higher than a year earlier.
The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics Friday said its consumer price index for the 31-county region that includes Long Island and New York City rose 2 percent in November from a year ago.
Prices were flat in the region from October to November.
Some economists said it was difficult to determine Sandy's full impact on inflation because not all parts of the region were hard hit by the Oct. 29 storm, and the shortages of some commodities were brief.
They also noted that gasoline rationing was instituted in parts of New York State and New Jersey.
Still, the cost of gasoline was up 9 percent from November 2011 as shortages led to price spikes at some service stations.
Pump prices over the entire month were 2.5 percent lower than in October.
Groceries prices were 2.8 percent higher last month than in 2011. They also were up nine-tenths of 1 percent from October because of the higher cost of cereal, milk, snacks, cheese, rice, pasta, fresh fruit and other items, said Martin Kohli, the bureau's chief economist.
The cost of medical care increased 4.8 percent year over year, while housing was up 1.9 percent.