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Cost of health care jumps 5% in metro area

Consumer prices in the metropolitan area rose modestly in June compared with a year ago, led by a 5.1 percent jump in the cost of health care.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday reported its consumer price index for the 31-county region that includes Long Island climbed 1 percent last month compared with June 2015.

After medical care, prices for residential rent and restaurant meals saw the biggest increases. Rents were up 3.6 percent year over year, while the cost of eating out rose 3.2 percent compared with June 2015.

The increases were offset somewhat by falling prices for energy and groceries, according to the bureau’s chief regional economist Martin Kohli.

The cost of gasoline was down 16 percent, year over year. Prices for electricity and natural gas declined 4.9 percent and 1.1 percent, respectively.

Grocery prices dropped 1.6 percent between last month and June 2015.

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