Consumer prices in the metropolitan area rose last month at their fastest rate in more than three years on higher costs for housing.

The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Thursday its consumer price index for the 31-county region that includes Long Island rose 2.1 percent in December compared with December 2015.

It was the largest year-over-year increase in the index since July 2013.

Residential rents were up 2.8 percent, year over year.

The cost of natural gas climbed 15.1 percent from December 2015, the largest year-over-year jump in eight years.

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Gasoline prices also continued to climb last month after steady declines for more than a year. Pump prices were up 12.9 percent, year over year.

The cost of health care jumped 5.6 percent in December compared with a year ago.

These increases were partially offset by falling grocery prices. The cost of groceries fell 2.4 percent in December compared with a year earlier.