Economic Report: Higher gas prices boost cost of living in March, but inflation still soft, CPI shows

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Consumer prices surged in March mainly because gasoline was more expensive. Inflation more broadly remained tame.

The numbers: Americans paid more for gas and rent in March, but inflationary pressures more broadly remained bottled up amid a slowdown in the economy early in the new year.

The consumer price index jumped 0.4% in March to mark the biggest increase in 14 months, the government said Wednesday. That matched the MarketWatch forecast of economists.

Over the past year, the cost of living has increased 1.9%, up from 1.5% in February.

Yet three-fifths of the increase in March stemmed from higher energy prices, mainly gasoline and electricity.

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