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Metro-area prices make biggest jump since March, index shows

Higher prices for gasoline contributed to the sharp

Higher prices for gasoline contributed to the sharp rise in consumer prices in September compared with a year ago. Above, gas prices on display at a Speedway station in Lake Grove on Aug. 31, 2017. Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

Consumer prices in the metropolitan area rose sharply in September compared with a year ago on higher prices for housing and gasoline.

The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday that its consumer price index for the 31-county region that includes Long Island climbed 2.1 percent last month compared with September 2016. It was the largest increase since March, when the index rose 2.3 from a year earlier.

Martin Kohli, the bureau’s chief regional economist, said residential rents were a key factor behind the annual price rise through September. Last month, residential rents were 2.6 percent higher than a year earlier, he said.

In addition, the cost of gasoline continued to rise, up 29.2 percent from September 2016.

Prices for electricity and natural gas rose 1.1 percent and 10.2 percent, respectively, year over year.

The cost of groceries and medical care each were up 1.1 percent.

These increases were partially offset by motor vehicles and household furnishings, which declined 2.8 percent, year over year. The household furnishings category includes furniture and home repairs.

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