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Clothing, rent drove metro prices up in December

A woman shops in an Aeropostale clothing store

A woman shops in an Aeropostale clothing store in Manhattan on Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015. Photo Credit: AP

Consumer prices in the metropolitan area rose in December compared with a year ago on the higher cost of clothing and residential rents.

The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics said Wednesday its consumer price index for the 31-county region that includes Long Island climbed 0.7 percent last month compared with December 2014.

The year-over-year increase was the largest since the 0.8 percent recorded in November 2014, according to Martin Kohli, the bureau’s chief regional economist.

Clothing prices were up 4.5 percent last month compared with December 2014. Residential rents climbed 3.8 percent.

These increases were somewhat offset by big declines in the cost of energy last month.

Gasoline prices were down 22.7 percent, year over year, while the cost of electricity and natural gas was off 6.4 percent and 12 percent, respectively.

Grocery prices fell 0.1 percent in December compared with a year earlier.

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