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Small rise in metro-area CPI in April

Gasoline prices fell 8.2 percent, year over year,

Gasoline prices fell 8.2 percent, year over year, helping keep inflation low. (Credit: Newsday/Alejandra Villa)

Prices in the metropolitan area were 1.4 percent higher last month than a  year ago, the smallest increase since August.

The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics Thursday reported its consumer price index for the 31-county region that includes Long Island was higher in April compared with the same period in 2012 due to the higher cost of housing, food and medical care.

The price index gained 1.9 percent in March, year over year.

Grocery prices were 2.1 percent higher last month compared with April 2012. Among the items costing more were butter, margarine and soups, said Martin Kohli, the bureau’s chief regional economist.

Gasoline prices fell 8.2 percent, year over year, while shelter costs were up 2.3 percent and health care rose 3.6 percent.

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