News Higher NYC-area rents push consumer prices up Tenants demonstrate during New York City's rent guidelines board meeting at Cooper Union on Monday, June 29, 2015, during a vote on whether to raise the rent in more than one million rent-stabilized apartments. Photo Credit: Agaton Strom By James T. Madore firstname.lastname@example.org February 19, 2016 12:28 PM Print Share fbShare Tweet gShare Email Consumer prices in the metropolitan area rose slightly in January compared with a year earlier on higher residential rents. The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday said its consumer price index for the 31-county region that includes Long Island climbed 0.8 percent last month compared with January 2015. It was the largest year-over-year increase since November 2014, when the index also gained 0.8 percent, according to Martin Kohli, the bureau’s chief regional economist. January’s increase in prices followed a year-over-year rise in December 2015 of 0.7 percent, the largest last year. Last month, residential rents were up 3.9 percent from January 2015. The cost of groceries increased 0.1 percent in January compared with a year earlier, while restaurant meals climbed 3 percent. Clothing prices rose 0.9 percent and health care costs were up 1.3 percent. These price increases were offset somewhat by declines in the cost of energy. Gasoline prices fell 12.8 percent in January compared with a year earlier. The cost of natural gas and electricity were down 10.6 percent and 11 percent, respectively. By James T. Madore email@example.com Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Comments Comments section is temporarily on hold. Here’s why.