Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Price increases pick up speed

Higher gas prices lead to the biggest jump in consumer inflation since July.

EMAIL  |   PRINT  |   SHARE  |   RSS
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
By Chris Isidore, CNNMoney.com senior writer

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Prices paid by consumers rose as a faster pace in February, as higher gas prices in the month fed into the highest inflation reading since July, the government said Wednesday.

The Consumer Price Index, the Labor Department's key measure of inflation, rose 0.4% in February, after climbing 0.3% the previous month. Economists surveyed by Briefing.com had forecast a 0.3% rise in the latest reading.

The even more closely watched core CPI, which strips out volatile food and energy prices, rose 0.2% in February, the same as the increase in January. That's higher than the 0.1% boost forecast by economists.

Still, prices are little changed from where they stood 12 months ago, as lower gas prices compared to a year ago left overall CPI up only 0.2% over the course of the last year. Core CPI is up 1.8% on a 12-month basis.

Prices of gasoline jumped 8.3% in February, the third biggest jump in the price of that closely watched commodity since the spike that followed Hurricane Katrina in 2005. But even with the rise in both January and February, the price of gas is still 36% below year-ago levels.

Gas wasn't the only staple with increased prices. Clothing prices rose 1.3%, and the cost of health care, education and recreation also increased.

But the price of many essentials stayed in check. Overall food prices were down 0.1%. Household energy prices, which do not include gasoline, fell 0.2%. Telephone and information services, which include cable television and Internet costs, were unchanged as well. To top of page

They're hiring!These Fortune 100 employers have at least 350 openings each. What are they looking for in a new hire? More
If the Fortune 500 were a country...It would be the world's second-biggest economy. See how big companies' sales stack up against GDP over the past decade. More
Sponsored By:
More Galleries
17 cool gadgets that tease the future Smart telescopes, surveillance for dogs, an electric roadster and more from CES 2018. More
These 12 airplane beds let you really sleep on a flight For the price of a premium class ticket, you may just get a space that's comfortable, private, and quiet enough to ensure a good rest. More
CES 2018 kicks off with oddball gadgets The biggest tech show of the year opened with a collection of quirky gadgets. More
Worry about the hackers you don't know 
Crime syndicates and government organizations pose a much greater cyber threat than renegade hacker groups like Anonymous. Play
GE CEO: Bringing jobs back to the U.S. 
Jeff Immelt says the U.S. is a cost competitive market for advanced manufacturing and that GE is bringing jobs back from Mexico. Play
Hamster wheel and wedgie-powered transit 
Red Bull Creation challenges hackers and engineers to invent new modes of transportation. Play