The Consumer Price Index increased 0.5 percent in February, before seasonal adjustment, according to a government report released Friday.
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the February level of 203.499 was 2.4 percent higher than in February 2006.
On a seasonally adjusted basis, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Users (CPI-U) advanced 0.4 percent in February, following a 0.2 percent increase in January. Energy costs increased 0.9 percent in February after declining 1.5 percent in January.
The index for petroleum-based energy increased 0.3 percent in February and the index for energy services rose 1.5 percent.
The transportation index rose 0.1 percent in February, following a 0.8 percent decrease in January. The index for gasoline prices, which declined 3.0 percent in January, rose 0.3 percent in February.
Gasoline prices were 1.4 percent lower than a year ago and 23.7 percent lower than their peak level recorded in July 2006. The index for new vehicles declined 0.1 percent in February and was 1.4 percent lower than in February 2006. The index for public transportation rose 0.3 percent in January, reflecting a 0.9 percent increase in the index for airline fares.