Gasoline prices rose again last month to increase consumer prices by .6%. The Labor Department said it was the largest single month gain since August of 2009.
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Gasoline prices rose 7%, pushing up energy prices overall 4.5%. Taking out the volatile energy and food price components shows a much more modest rise of .1%.
Analysts had predicted overall prices would rise .5% and core prices .2%. Tension in the Middle East and North Africa threaten to push energy prices up further along with inflation.
Industrial production also rose .4%. Operating rates remain just above 80%, a bit below the average from 1972 – 2011.
Capacity utilization rose to 78.3% from 78% while analysts expectations were for a rise to 78.2% in capacity utilization and a .2% rise in output.
The consumer price index gauges prices from consumer purchases
of everything from groceries to hospital stays. Another report said the typical work week grew longer and real average weekly earnings remained the same.