Higher Gasoline Costs Boost US Consumer Prices

Posted March 16th, 2012 at 12:40 pm (UTC-5)
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The U.S. Labor Department says that sharply rising gasoline costs boosted consumer prices in the country in February by the most in 10 months.

With the price of gasoline increasing almost daily in the United States in recent weeks, officials said Friday that consumer costs advanced 0.4 percent last month. Almost all of the increase in inflation was the result of the 6 percent jump in the last month for the price of gas motorists are paying to fuel their cars.

Gasoline in the U.S. now costs an average of more than $1 a liter . It is the highest ever for this time of year in the country, although still lower than in numerous other countries.

The price of crude oil on the world market has risen in recent months, sparked largely because of the tension over the West’s demand that oil-producing Iran curtail development of its nuclear program. In the U.S., the cost of crude oil accounts for about three-fourths of the price motorists pay for gasoline at service stations.

The government said that other than for gas, inflationary pressures were negligible, and noted that food prices were unchanged for the first time in 19 months.

The U.S. central bank said earlier this week that it expects the higher energy costs would only temporarily boost inflation.