Dollars & Sense

Cost of living in Midwest rises

Updated: 2014-02-20T22:46:03Z

By DIANE STAFFORD

The Kansas City Star

Higher gasoline prices pushed the overall cost of living higher for Midwest consumers in January, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said Thursday.

Energy prices rose 3.4 percent during the month, helping raise the broader consumer price index 0.5 percent. Meanwhile, the cost of food rose 0.5 percent.

Prices for all other items showed little change.

From January 2013 to January 2014, the Midwest consumer price index rose 1.4 percent. Over the year, energy costs for motor and household fuels grew 2.5 percent and food prices rose 1.1 percent.

For the nation as a whole, the consumer price index gained 0.1 percent in January. Energy prices led the increase, growing 0.6 percent, while food costs rose 0.1 percent, the bureau said.

Over the last 12 months nationally, energy prices grew 2.1 percent and overall consumer prices went up 1.6 percent.

Analysts said the year-over-year inflation rate peaked in September 2011 at 3.9 percent. Rate gains have slowed since then largely because of lower energy prices.

To reach Diane Stafford, call 816-234-4359 or send email to stafford@kcstar.com.

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