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Metro consumer prices rose at their fastest rate since early 2017

Gas prices are posted at the Cumberland Farms

Gas prices are posted at the Cumberland Farms gas station in Lake Ronkonkoma Monday, May 21, 2018. Credit: Barry Sloan

Consumer prices in the metropolitan area rose last month at their fastest rate, year over year, since March 2017 because of higher costs of housing and gasoline.

The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this week that its consumer price index for the 25-county region that includes Long Island climbed 2.2 percent in May, compared with a year earlier.

That’s the highest year-over-year gain in 14 months, when prices were up 2.3 percent in March 2017 on an annual basis.

Martin Kohli, the bureau’s chief regional economist, said this week housing costs were partially responsible for the price index’s recent rise. Housing costs rose 2.4 percent in May, compared with a year earlier.

Gasoline prices last month increased 20.4 percent year over year.

The cost of electricity and natural gas were up 0.2 percent and 9.5 percent, respectively.

Grocery prices climbed 1.4 percent last month, compared with May 2017.

The cost of medical care and clothing increased 2.2 percent and 1.1 percent. Restaurant meals were up 3.5 percent year over year.

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