TODAY'S PAPER
Good Morning
Good Morning
Business

Metro area prices jump on higher housing costs, data show

Increases in residential rents helped to drive the

Increases in residential rents helped to drive the metro area consumer price index up. Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto/ablokhin

Consumer prices in the metropolitan area rose sharply in February compared with a year earlier on higher housing costs.

The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics said Wednesday its consumer price index for the 25-county region that includes Long Island climbed 2.4% last month compared with February 2019.

Housing costs were up 2.5% from a year ago, with the largest jump in residential rents, 2.7%.

Grocery prices climbed 0.8% last month compared with February 2019.

The cost of gasoline and electricity increased 5.7% and 2.8%, respectively.

Medical care costs climbed 5.7%, year over year. School tuition and day care fees were up 4.3%, while automobile insurance rose 3.6%.

While other spending categories rose by higher percentages than housing, housing costs are given greater weight in the price index because housing represents a larger percentage of most consumers' budgets.

The increases were partially offset by declines in the cost of natural gas and clothing. Natural gas prices fell 5.3% last month compared with February 2019. Apparel prices dropped 0.3%

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the magnitude of the price increase. 

More news