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Consumer prices up 0.3% for area compared to year ago, report says

Consumer prices in the metropolitan area rose last month compared with a year earlier on the higher cost of clothing and residential rents.

The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this week its consumer price index for the 31-county region that includes Long Island climbed 0.3 percent in September compared with a year ago. It was the largest year-over-year increase since December 2014.

Apparel prices were up 3.6 percent last month compared with a year earlier. Residential rents increased 3.5 percent in the same period.

The cost of gasoline fell 31.7 percent, year over year. Natural gas and electricity were off 11.8 percent and 2.0 percent, respectively.

Grocery prices climbed 1 percent in September compared with a year ago while restaurant meals were up 2.2 percent.

Health care costs rose 1.3 percent, year over year.

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