February 16, 2017

Area's inflation high over past 12 months

Central and Eastern Massachusetts had the highest inflation rate in the past year of seven metro areas that published data, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The region's annual rate was 3 percent, indicating how much more consumers paid for a representative set of goods and services. That was also the region's highest annual rate since the period ending September 2011.

In January, the area's Consumer Price Index rose by 1.2 percent, mainly due to items other than food and energy, the federal bureau said Wednesday. Housing costs rose especially high, by 3.8 percent.

From January 2016 to last month, energy prices rose by 12.7 percent, driven mainly by rising gasoline prices.

BLS defined the region in the study as stretching from the northeast edge of Connecticut through Worcester County, into southern New Hampshire and even the southernmost county in Maine.

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