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.