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Seattle’s inflation accelerated in March and April as consumer prices rose 2.4 percent over the past year, faster than the national average, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Thursday.

The Seattle-area Consumer Price Index (CPI) also picked up on a bimonthly basis, rising a nonseasonally-adjusted 1.6 percent from February after a 0.7 percent gain in the prior two-month period.

Local gasoline prices shot up 12.8 percent for the two months ending in April, while food prices increased 1.0 percent.

Excluding food and energy costs, so-called core prices rose 1.1 percent over the past two months, driven by a 10 percent gain in apparel prices.

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Two months ago, overall prices in the Seattle area rose 1.2 percent over the previous year, driven by higher prices for shelter and food.

Seattle’s one-year inflation rate outpaced the U.S. average.

Nationwide, overall consumer prices increased 2 percent over the past 12 months, the largest gain since July.

The national CPI increased 0.3 percent last month after a 0.2 percent gain in March.

Unlike the U.S. inflation rate, which is tracked monthly, prices for metro areas such as Seattle are measured every other month. They are not adjusted for seasonal variations.

Amy Martinez: 206-464-2923 or On Twitter: @amyemartinez

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