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


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Posted Online: March 15, 2013, 5:58 pm
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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.

















 



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  Today is Thursday, July 31, the 212th day of 2014. There are 153 days left in the year.

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1889 -- 125 years ago: B. Winter has let a contract to Christ Schreiner for a two story brick building with a double store front on the south side of 3rd Avenue just west of 17th Street. The estimated cost was $4,500.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Germany sent simultaneous ultimatums to Russia and France, demanding that Russia suspend mobilization within 12 hours and demanding that France inform Germany within 18 hours. In the case of war between Germany and Russia, France would remain neutral.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Civil service offices at the post office and the Rock Island Arsenal were swamped as more than 700 youths sought 15 machinist apprenticeships at the Arsenal.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Last night, American Legion Post 246 in Moline figuratively handed over the trousers to a female ex-Marine and petticoat rule began. Olga Swanson, of Moline, was installed as the first woman commander of the post .
1989 -- 25 years ago: The Illinois Quad City Civic Center captured the excitement and interest of a convention of auditorium managers this weekend in Reno, Nev. Bill Adams, civic center authority chairman, said the 10,000-seat arena planned for downtown Moline has caught the eye of construction firms, suppliers, management teams and concession groups.








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