Spike At The Pump Pushes Up Consumer Prices

WASHINGTON (March 15, 2013)--A spike in gasoline prices pushed a measure of U.S. consumer costs up in February by the most in more than three years, but aside from the increase in fuel prices, inflation was mostly modest, the U.S. Labor Department said Friday.

The Labor Department said consumer prices increased by a seasonally adjusted 0.7 percent last month from January, the biggest rise since June 2009.

Still, three-fourths of the increase reflected a 9.1 percent surge in gas prices.

Gas prices had fallen for the previous four months and food prices increased just 0.1 percent.

For the 12 months that ended in February, prices increased 2.0 percent, in line with the Federal Reserve's inflation target.

Excluding volatile food and energy costs, core inflation rose just 0.2 percent in February.

Over the past 12 months, core prices have risen just 2 percent.

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