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More expensive gas pushes Chicago, U.S. prices up

Updated: October 16, 2012 11:39AM



Gasoline prices helped push overall consumer prices in the Chicago metropolitan area up a slight 0.3 percent in September from August, lower than the rise nationally of 0.6 percent, the Labor Department said Tuesday.

Year-over year, prices rose 1.6 percent locally.

Excluding volatile food and energy prices, inflation was tame with prices rising only 0.2 percent from August. Year-over-year, they rose 1.8 percent.

Food prices edged down 0.2 percent from August. Grocery prices, the so-called food-at-home category, slid 0.4 percent, while the cost of eating out increased 0.2 percent. Grocery prices fell for spices, seasonings, condiments and sauces, ice cream and related products, candy and chewing gum. Prices rose for snacks and carbonated drinks.

Year-over-year food prices rose 1 percent.

Energy costs rose 1.7 percent from August as gasoline prices rose 2.1 percent and utility piped gas service costs rose 2.5 percent.

Energy costs rose 0.5 percent from September 2011.

The biggest price increases since August were for apparel, up 5.7 percent. Year-over-year, the biggest price rise was for medial care, up 5.3 percent.

Nationally, the consumer price index rose a seasonally adjusted 0.6 percent in September, matching the August increase. In the past 12 months, prices have increased 2 percent. That’s in line with the Federal Reserve’s inflation target.

Food prices rose only 0.1 percent. The cost of meat, chicken and eggs fell. Dairy prices rose.

Excluding volatile food and energy costs, prices rose just 0.1 percent. In the past year, so-called core prices have increased 2 percent.



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