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Consumer prices jump 0.5% in February

Consumer prices jump 0.5% in February (by Jeffry Bartash)

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - U.S. consumer prices rose 0.5% in February, fueled by higher gasoline costs, the Labor Department reported Thursday. So-called core prices, which strip out the volatile food and energy categories, rose a lesser 0.2%. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had forecast CPI to rise 0.5% overall, with a 0.1% increase in the core rate. Consumer prices have risen an unadjusted 2.1% over the last 12 months, though a smaller 1.1% on a core basis. Still, the 12-month core rate has almost doubled from October's level of 0.6%.