Higher gas costs drive up US consumer prices

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Associated Press

Posted on September 14, 2012 at 7:01 AM

Updated Friday, Sep 14 at 7:31 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — More expensive gas drove up consumer prices in August by the most in three years. But outside energy, inflation was tame.

The Labor Department says consumer prices rose a seasonally adjusted 0.6 percent last month, the first increase since March. Higher gas prices accounted for 80 percent of the increase. Food prices rose 0.2 percent.

In the past 12 months, prices have increased 1.7 percent. That's down from a peak of 3.9 percent in September 2011.

Excluding the volatile food and energy categories, core prices edged up 0.1 percent for the second straight month. Rents, medical care and new cars got more expensive, while clothing, furniture and airline fares fell in price.

Core consumer prices rose 1.9 percent in the past 12 months, the smallest annual increase in a year.

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