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Metro area prices edge up in February

Regular gas is priced at $4.29 per gallon

Regular gas is priced at $4.29 per gallon at a Sunoco station in Melville last month. The cost of gasoline was up 3.2 percent, year over year as of March 15. (Feb. 19, 2013) Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

Prices in the metropolitan area edged up in February due to higher costs for gasoline, medical care and rent.

The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics Friday reported its consumer price index for the 31-county region that includes Long Island rose 2.4 percent last month compared with February 2012.

The cost of gasoline was up 3.2 percent, year over year.

Health care costs rose 3.7 percent and residential rent increased 3.1 percent.

Grocery prices climbed 1 percent from February 2012. But they were down 0.9 percent from January 2013 because of the lower cost of citrus fruits, potatoes, tomatoes, cakes, cupcakes and cookies.

The month-over-month decline in food prices was the largest since November 2006, according to the bureau's chief regional economist Martin Kohli.

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