Consumer prices jump 0.7% in February, biggest rise since 2009


Share
Posted Online: March 15, 2013, 5:58 pm
Comment on this story | Print this story | Email this story
WASHINGTON — Fueled by the rising cost of gasoline, consumer prices jumped 0.7 percent in February for the biggest increase in more than three years, the Labor Department said Friday.

The sharp rise in consumer costs last month, which exceeded analyst expectations, could stoke inflation concerns as economic growth strengthens.

Prices now have risen 2 percent over the past year, the target the Federal Reserve has set for an acceptable inflation rate. Prices were up 1.6 percent in the previous 12-month period.

If prices were to start rising faster, the Fed would have to consider pulling back on its stimulus efforts out of concern that they were helping trigger higher costs.

Gas prices were the main culprit in February's jump. Prices at the pump were up a seasonally adjusted 9.1 percent, the most since June 2009.

That also was the last time overall consumer prices exceeded February's increase.

So-called core inflation — which excludes volatile energy and food prices — rose a more modest 0.2 percent in February. The figure was in line with analyst expectations and an improvement from the 0.3 percent increase in January.

But core inflation also is up 2 percent year over year.

The jump in gas prices accounted for almost three-quarters of February's increase in overall consumer costs. Food prices were up just 0.1 percent in February.

















 



Local events heading








  Today is Sunday, April 20, the 110th day of 2014. There are 255 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: The attention of contractors is called to proposals for building a magazine. The building is to be erected on the south side of the island, above the railroad, nearly opposite Sinnit's ice houses.
1889 -- 125 years ago: Ladies patent leather tip shoes were selling for $3 at the M & K store, and men's spring overcoats were advertised at $7.50.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Fred Feuchter, of Davenport, was elected president of the Tri-City Post Office Clerks club, and Joe Goldsmith, of Rock Island, was named secretary treasurer.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Mass vaccination of more than 1,600 employed of the Rock Island Arsenal has been ordered by Col. Norman Ramsey after a 13-year-old daughter of the Arsenal manager became ill with smallpox.
1964 -- 50 years ago: The 1964 Scout-O-Rama of the Sac-Fox Council of Boy Scouts closed a two-day session last evening at the Rock Island Armory with 5,000 paid attendance.
1989 -- 25 years ago: "From the horse and buggy days ... to this" said Mercer County Sheriff Marvin Thirtyacre, waving his hand to indicate the sheriff's department facilities at the new $1.5 million Mercer County Jail in Aledo.




(More History)