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Lower gas costs help slow metro area inflation

Customers pump gasoline at the Gulf station at

Customers pump gasoline at the Gulf station at the North LIE Service Road and Old Nichols Road in Ronkonkoma. (April 4, 2012) Photo Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

Prices in the metropolitan area rose 1.4 percent last month compared with a year ago, identical to April’s growth rate.

The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics Tuesday reported its consumer price index for the 31-county region that includes Long Island was higher in May compared with the same period in 2012 due to the lower cost of gasoline, clothes and education.

Martin Kohli, the bureau’s chief regional economist, said grocery prices climbed 0.3 percent in May compared with a year earlier, while restaurant meals were up 1.3 percent.

The cost of gasoline fell 5.8 percent year over year. Electricity rose 1.3 percent and natural gas, 11.9 percent.

Continuing a trend from earlier this year, residential rents gained 3.1 percent last month compared with May 2012 and medical expenses were up 2.8 percent.


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