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Metro area prices up in January

Prices in the metropolitan area rose last month because of the higher cost of housing and energy.

The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics Thursday reported its consumer price index for the 31-county region that includes Long Island and New York City climbed 2.2 percent in January compared with a year earlier.

The rate of increase, year over year, was the highest since April 2012, when it was 2.8 percent.

Prices were up 0.5 percent in January compared with December 2012 because of the higher cost of electricity and food.

Groceries prices, year over year, were up 2 percent. Among the items costing more were juices, fresh food, pork chops, potatoes, vegetables, tea, cakes, cupcakes, cookies and ice cream, according to the bureau's chief regional economist Martin Kohli.

The cost of gasoline increased 3 percent last month compared with January 2012. Rent and housing was up 2.2 percent and medical care, 2.3 percent.

Tags: consumer price index , prices , long island

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