Gasoline prices contributed to a 2.1 percent increase in the...

Gasoline prices contributed to a 2.1 percent increase in the metro area Consumer Price Index for December compared to a year ago.

Prices in the metropolitan area increased in December, year over year, the most since last spring.

The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics said Wednesday its consumer price index for the 31-county region that includes Long Island was up 2.1 percent last month compared with a year earlier.

That's the highest year-over-year inflation rate since April's 2.4 percent.

Area prices dropped 0.3 percent in December, month over month.

The bureau's chief regional economist Martin Kohli said the yearly rise in prices was driven by the cost of gasoline, up 7 percent in the past 12 months, and medical care, up 3.8 percent.

The cost of groceries rose 1.7 percent on higher prices for bacon, cheese, apples, snacks and ice cream, he said.

Latest Videos

Newsday LogoDON'T MISS THIS LIMITED-TIME OFFER1 5 months for only $1Save on Unlimited Digital Access