Consumer prices in the metropolitan area rose last month compared with a year ago on higher housing costs.
The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics on Wednesday reported its consumer price index for the 25-county region that includes Long Island climbed 1.7 percent in March compared with a year earlier.
The index increased at the same rate in February, year over year.
Last month, the cost of owning or renting a home rose 2.4 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively, compared with March 2017.
Martin Kohli, the bureau’s chief regional economist, said “shelter [prices] drove the 12-month increase” in the price index.
The cost of gasoline climbed 11.3 percent last month compared with March 2017.
Electricity and natural gas were up 4 percent and 6.9 percent, respectively.
Grocery prices increased 1.1 percent last month compared with a year ago. And the cost of medical care rose 2 percent.
These increases were partially offset by declines in the price of clothing and household furnishings, which fell 2.8 percent and 1.9 percent, respectively.