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Gasoline, housing costs push NY metro area prices up in June

The average price for regular-grade gasoline has topped

The average price for regular-grade gasoline has topped $4 a gallon on Long Island. Photo Credit: AP

Prices in the New York metropolitan area rose last month compared with a year earlier on the higher costs of gasoline and housing.

The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Tuesday that its consumer price index for the 31-county region that includes Long Island climbed 1.7 percent in June compared with the same time a year ago.

Martin Kohli, the bureau's chief regional economist, said monthly increases in the index, year over year, have been 2 percent or less since December 2013. The Federal Reserve, which sets the nation's interest rates, considers inflation to be optimal if the index is about 2 percent nationally.

In the New York area, grocery prices rose 1.6 percent last month compared with June 2013.

The cost of housing was up 3 percent, year over year.

Prices for gasoline and electricity each climbed 3.6 percent while those for natural gas were down 4.7 percent.

Health care cost 2.8 percent more, year over year, while prices for apparel and home furnishings fell 2 percent and 2.4 percent, respectively.

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