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Metro area consumer prices up 1.8% compared to last year

Prices for gas, groceries and other consumer items

Prices for gas, groceries and other consumer items have been rising, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

Consumer prices in the metropolitan area rose last month compared with a year ago on higher residential rents.

The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Wednesday that its consumer price index for the 31-county region that includes Long Island climbed 1.8 percent in October compared with October 2016.

Martin Kohli, the bureau’s chief regional economist, said the cost of housing was a key factor behind last month’s gain in prices. Residential rents climbed 2.5 percent, year over year, he said.

In addition, the cost of gasoline continued to rise, up 18.5 percent in October compared with a year earlier.

Grocery prices increased 2.1 percent, year over year.

The cost of medical care and recreation increased 1.9 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively, from October 2016.

Natural gas prices rose 11.3 percent last month compared with a year earlier. The cost of electricity climbed 0.5 percent.

These increases were partially offset by education and communication costs declining 0.7 percent, year over year. The category includes college tuition, postage, telephone services, computer software and accessories.

Durable goods prices were off 2.3 percent from October 2016.

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