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Business

Metro area price index holds steady

Consumer prices in the metropolitan area were unchanged last month compared with a year ago as the cost of gasoline and natural gas stayed low.

The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday its consumer price index for the 31-county region that includes Long Island was flat in April compared with the same month in 2014.

The index was down in March and January, year over year. It was up 0.1 percent in February.

A 32.8-percent drop in gasoline prices drove April's performance from 2014. Pump prices have since risen significantly.

The cost of natural gas was down 25.3 percent while electricity was up 0.3 percent.

Grocery prices rose 2.9 percent last month compared with a year ago.

Residential rents were up 2.5 percent, year over year, and medical care and clothing increased 3.8 percent and 3.7 percent, respectively.

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