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NY-area consumer prices rise in November on housing costs but gas prices fall

While other spending categories rose by higher percentages

While other spending categories rose by higher percentages in November, energy prices dropped 8.1% over the year, primarily due to a drop in gasoline prices. Credit: Newsday/John Paraskevas

Consumer prices in the metropolitan area rose modestly in November compared with a year earlier as an increase in housing costs was partially offset by declining gasoline prices, officials said.

The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics said Thursday its consumer price index for the 25-county region that includes Long Island climbed 1.4% last month compared with November 2019.

"A 1.5% increase for shelter drove the 12-month change" in the price index, said Martin Kohli, the bureau’s chief regional economist. "In contrast, energy prices dropped 8.1% over the year, primarily due to a 17.4% fall in gasoline prices."

The price index increased 1.7% in October, year over year, and 1.9% in September.

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

Grocery prices were up 4.2% last month compared with November 2019. The increase was due in part to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the cost of meats, poultry, fish and eggs based on a recent research report by bureau economists.

Natural gas and electricity prices rose 0.3% and 2.1%, respectively.

The cost of medical care climbed 3.1%, year over year, while prices for new and used automobiles rose 6.8%.

These increases were partially offset by the drop in gasoline prices and a decline in the cost of clothing, which fell 3.9% in November compared with a year earlier.

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