Gas prices up, but inflation still in check


Leave it to gasoline prices to mar the nation's low-inflation streak. Consumer prices jumped 0.4 percent in February, the U.S. Labor Department announced Wednesday, as rising gasoline prices marred an otherwise modest inflation report.

Core CPI, which excludes the often-volatile food and energy component, rose 0.2 percent. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News had expected February inflation and the core rate to increase 0.3 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively. Inflation rose 0.3 percent in January, following an 0.8 percent decline in December 2008.