Updated February 28 at 8:42pm

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ECONOMIC INDICATORS

Regional prices up 2.5% in March

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WASHINGTON – Consumers in the Northeast paid 2.5 percent more for commodities in March 2012 than they did a year earlier, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index.

During the same period, the Northeast saw a 2.4 percent rise in prices that excluded the volatile food and energy components. Nationally the same set of prices showed a 2.3 percent increase.

The BLS pointed to the medical care index, which was up 3.3 percent year over year for contributing to the rise of all items less food and energy.

Regional consumers also paid more for both food and energy during the 12-month period ended March 31, which saw a 2.6 percent and 2.1 percent increase, respectively.

The rise in energy prices reflected an 8.0 percent advance year over year in gasoline prices since March 2011. Conversely, energy index prices were lower for utilities. Prices dropped 11.9 percent for piped gas service and 3.4 percent for electricity.

National numbers showed a 2.9 percent increase on food and a 2.6 increase on energy for the period ended March 31.

rhode island, business, commodities, providence, washington, bureau labor statistics, BLS, inflation, consumer price index

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