Consumer prices rose .9% in March, according to information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The increase is largely due to higher prices for gas and clothing, says Commissioner Stanley Suchman.

During the last 12 months, the consumer price index increased 2.4%, but year-over-year increases have slowed for the past six months since recording a rate of 3.5% in September 2011.

Food prices edged up .2% for the month of March. Prices for both food at home and food away from home increased .2% for the same period.

During the year, food prices advanced 2.8%. Prices for food at home advanced 2.5% since a year ago, and prices for food away from home rose 3.3%.

The energy index advanced 6.5% during the month. The increase was mainly due to higher prices for gasoline, which increased 10.7%. Prices for electricity edged up .2%, while prices for natural gas service decreased 2.3% in March.

Energy prices increased 6.0% over the year, largely due to higher prices for gasoline (9.9%). Prices paid for electricity increased 0.4%, while prices for natural gas service declined 4.9% during the past year.

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