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Consumer price index up 1.6% as rents, gas prices rise

Consumer prices in the metropolitan area rose last month compared with a year ago on higher residential rents.

The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this week that its consumer price index for the 31-county region that includes Long Island climbed 1.6 percent in November compared with November 2016.

The index last rose by 1.6 percent, year over year, in July.

Martin Kohli, the bureau’s chief regional economist, said the cost of housing was a key factor behind last month’s gain in prices. Residential rents climbed 2.4 percent, year over year, he said.

In addition, the cost of gasoline continued to rise, up 12.4 percent in November compared with a year earlier.

Grocery prices increased 1.9 percent, year over year.

The cost of medical care increased 2.1 from November 2016.

Natural gas prices rose 14.4 percent last month compared with a year earlier.

These increases were partially offset by the cost of electricity declining 1.6 percent, year over year. Clothing prices also fell 1 percent.

Durable goods prices were off 1.5 percent from November 2016.

— James T. Madore

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