U.S. consumer prices jumped by 0.7 percent in February, the largest increase since June 2009, as gasoline prices surged, the Labor Department said Friday. Economists polled by Reuters had called for a 0.5 percent rise.
Gasoline prices soared 9.1 percent last month, accounting for about three-fourths of the rise in consumer inflation. That's their largest increase since June 2009. Food prices rose a much smaller 0.1 percent.
The underlying inflation was fairly muted. Stripping out volatile food and energy costs, the so-called core CPI increased 0.2 percent, in line with estimates.
The overall CPI and the core reading both climbed 2 percent over the last 12 months that ended in February, within the Federal Reserve's target for inflation.
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