WASHINGTON — Consumer prices were up 0.4% on a seasonally adjusted basis in February after rising 0.2% in January, the Labor Department reported Friday. Core consumer prices, which exclude food and energy, were up 0.1% for the month, after rising 0.2% in January.

Economists polled by Thomson Reuters hit the mark in projecting that the consumer price index would climb 0.4%, but the 0.1% increase in core prices fell short of their 0.2% estimated increase.

The increased CPI level for February reflected a 3.2% climb in energy prices, including a 6.0% increase in gasoline prices.

The gas increase accounted for 80% of the increase in the CPI, the Labor Department said.

Consumer prices were up 2.9% for 12 months ending in February, and core prices rose 2.2% over that period.

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