The Labor Department announced on Friday that the consumer price index jumped a seasonally-adjusted 0.7% in February, compared to the previous month.
That marked the index’s largest monthly rise since June 2009. However, the gain was mostly attributable to a sharp increase in the cost of gasoline. Excluding food and fuel costs, core prices faced by consumers rose just 0.2% last month, the Associated Press noted.
Gasoline prices spiked 9.1% last month, the largest gain since 2009, after declining for the four months before February. Gasoline prices have begun to ease in recent weeks.
During the twelve months that ended in February, consumer prices rose 2%, matching the Federal Reserve’s forecast for inflation.
Analysts said that the CPI data didn’t reveal significant inflation in the economy, relieving pressure on the Fed over its continuing economic stimulus efforts.
Last week, the Labor Department announced that the U.S. economy created 236,000 new jobs in February, handily topping economists who had anticipated just 165,000 new jobs.