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Metro area prices inch up in October

Prices in the metropolitan area inched up in

Prices in the metropolitan area inched up in October compared with a year ago because of the higher cost of gasoline and medical care. (Credit: iStock)

 Prices in the metropolitan area inched up in October compared with a year ago because of the higher cost of gasoline and medical care.

The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today that its consumer price index increased 1.7 percent last month from 2011 in the 31-county region that includes Long Island.

Month over month, prices fell 0.1 percent.

Martin Kohli, the bureau’s chief regional economist, said the biggest jump, year over year, was for gasoline, with prices 10.1 percent higher than in October 2011. However, pump prices fell 1.1 percent from September 2012, the first such drop in three months.

Groceries were up 1.4 percent from a year ago as costs rose for tomatoes and pork. Prices for health care services rose 4.7 percent while clothing fell 2.1 percent.

Kohli said the October price index did not reflect the impact of superstorm Sandy because most of the information was collected before the superstorm's Oct. 29 landfall. The November index will give a better indication of the effects of Sandy, Kohli said.

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