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Metro area price index climbs 1.8%, pushed up by rents, gas

The cost of housing was a key factor

The cost of housing was a key factor behind the June gain in prices, experts say. Photo Credit: Getty Images / iStockphoto / xeni4ka

An index of consumer prices in the metropolitan area rose last month compared with a year ago, pushed higher in part by rising residential rents.

The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday that its consumer price index for the 31-county region that includes Long Island climbed 1.8 percent in June compared with June 2016.

The year-over-year increase was identical to that for May, which was the smallest rise since December when the index began rising more than 2 percent per month.

Martin Kohli, the bureau’s chief regional economist, said the cost of housing was a key factor behind the June gain in prices. Last month, residential rents climbed 2.7 percent from a year earlier, he said.

In addition, the cost of gasoline continued to rise, up 6.1 percent from June 2016.

Grocery prices were up 0.6 percent, year over year.

The cost of medical care and recreation increased 2.6 percent and 2.9 percent, respectively, from June 2016.

Natural gas prices rose 13.6 percent last month compared with a year earlier. The cost of electricity climbed 2.8 percent.

These increases were partially offset by household furnishings and operation costs declining 0.5 percent, year over year.

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