March 12 (UPI) -- The cost of housing, food and gasoline rose in February after staying flat in January -- the first rise in four months, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Tuesday.
Overall, the Consumer Price Index showed a modest increase of 0.2 percent in February on a seasonally adjusted basis. Over the last 12 months, all the items increased 1.5 percent before seasonal adjustment.
The food index increased 0.4 percent, the largest monthly increase since May 2014. The gasoline index rose 1.5 percent after three months of declines. For the last 12 months, however, gasoline prices have fallen 9 percent.
The overall energy index also fell 5 percent over the past year. the Labor Department said. Natural gas was down 2.4 percent and the cost of power 0.3 percent.
Mortgage or rent payments were up 0.3 percent. Grocery and restaurant costs each rose 0.4 percent and the cost of clothing climbed 1.1 percent.
Hourly wages for American workers, up 0.3 percent last month, have risen nearly 2 percent in the last 12 months -- the quickest increase since 2015.