Consumer Prices Crept Up in February

Woman pumping gas
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The cost of U.S. consumer goods and services rose in February at the fastest pace in six months, data from the Department of Labor showed Wednesday.

The gain in prices was largely driven by a rise in gasoline prices. Prices for services excluding energy fell 0.7 percent.

The Consumer Price Index rose 0.4 percent compared with January, in line with expectations. Compared with a year ago, prices were up 1.7 percent, also in line with the forecast by economists.

Excluding the volatile food and energy categories, “core” prices rose by one-tenth of a percentage point. That was less than the two-tenths forecast. On an annual basis core prices rose 1.3 perceent, a slower pace than January’s price gain.

Prices for new cars and trucks were flat for the month and are up 1.3 percent compared with a year ago. Prices for used cars fell 0.9 percent but are up 9.3 percent compared with a year ago.

Gas prices were up 7.2 percent in February and 7.1 percent in January. Compared with a year ago, gas prices are up 1.8 percent.

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