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Consumer prices in September rise the least since 2009

Jimmy Carl, of Baldwin, puts gas in his

Jimmy Carl, of Baldwin, puts gas in his truck on Oct. 8, 2014, at the Shamrock gas station in Baldwin. According to a report released by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014, gasoline prices fell 5.4 percent in September compared with a year ago. Photo Credit: Newsday / Alejandra Villa

Consumer prices in the New York area had their smallest increase, year over year, in September since 2009.

The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics Wednesday reported that its consumer price index for the 31-county region, which includes Long Island, rose 1 percent last month compared with a year earlier.

That's the smallest year-over-year gain since October 2009, when there was no change in prices, said Martin Kohli, the bureau's chief regional economist. The Great Recession had just ended a few months earlier.

The price index was kept down last month by steep drops in the cost of energy.

Gasoline prices fell 5.4 percent in September compared with a year ago. Electricity was off by 6.4 percent and natural gas, 6.2 percent.

These declines were offset partially by a 2.3-percent jump in the cost of groceries last month compared with September 2013.

Residential rents, health care costs and clothing prices also increased 3 percent, 2.3 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively.

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