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Consumer Prices in U.S. Increase on Jump in Gasoline Cost

The cost of living in the U.S. rose more than projected in February due to the biggest jump in gasoline prices in more than three years. The retreat in fuel expenses this month signals inflation will hover around the Federal Reserve’s goal.

The consumer-price index was up 0.7 percent, the first increase in four months and the biggest since June 2009, a Labor Department report showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 81 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 0.5 percent rise. The surge in gasoline accounted for almost 75 percent of last month’s total price advance.