WASHINGTON – Rising gas prices in March led to a slight increase in inflation, a sign that some of the broader economic impact from cheaper oil is fading.
The Labor Department says the consumer price index rose 0.2 percent in March. Inflation moved at that same pace in February, which ended three straight monthly declines caused largely by falling oil and gasoline prices.
Gas prices remain about 33 percent lower than a year ago, but they bounced up 3.9 percent from March to February. Over the past 12 months, consumer prices have slumped 0.1 percent.
Outside food and energy, core prices also rose 0.2 percent in March. The cost of clothes, housing, cars, and medical care increased, while food and airfare decreased. Core prices have risen 1.8 percent in the past year.