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Report: Metro area consumer price index climbs 2% year over year

Gasoline prices increased 5.2 percent year over year,

Gasoline prices increased 5.2 percent year over year, according to the latest consumer price index for the metro area. Photo Credit: Barry Sloan

Consumer prices in the metropolitan area rose modestly in September compared with a year earlier on higher grocery prices.

The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics said Thursday its consumer price index for the 25-county area that includes Long Island climbed 2 percent last month compared with September 2017.

Last month’s year-over-year gain in the price index was “little different from the increases over the previous five months,” said Martin Kohli, the bureau’s chief regional economist.

He said grocery prices were a key factor behind September’s index rise. They were up 2.9 percent, the biggest year-over-year gain since April 2015.

The cost of restaurant meals also rose 3.4 percent in September compared with a year earlier.

Gasoline prices increased 5.2 percent, year over year.

The cost of natural gas and electricity climbed 6.1 percent and 0.9 percent, respectively.

Medical care prices were up 3.2 percent.

The cost of housing rose 2 percent last month compared with September 2017.

These price gains were partially offset by declines in the cost of clothing, 0.1 percent, and recreation, 0.8 percent.

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