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Consumer price index rises 1.5% in May in metropolitan area

The consumer price index for May showed a

The consumer price index for May showed a 0.7 percent drop in the price of gasoline, year over year.  Credit: AP/Elise Amendola

Consumer prices in the metropolitan area rose modestly in May from a year earlier on higher costs for housing and food.

The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics said Wednesday its consumer price index for the 25-county region that includes Long Island increased 1.5 percent last month compared with May 2018.

Housing costs, including residential rent, climbed 2.2 percent from a year earlier. Rents were up 3.1 percent.

Grocery prices increased 0.7 percent in May compared with a year earlier. The biggest gain was for nondairy and nonalcohol beverages, up 3.1 percent.

Automobile insurance and alcohol prices rose 2.4 percent and 3 percent, respectively.

The cost of medical care was up 4.3 percent compared with May 2018.

The increases were partially offset by a 0.7 percent drop in the price of gasoline, year over year. Also, the cost of electricity was down 7.5 percent, while clothing fell 4.9 percent.

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