US consumer prices rose broadly in February as energy prices rebounded, pushing gasoline higher, the Labor Department reported Tuesday.
The consumer price index increased 0.2 percent month-over-month in February, following three consecutive months of declines including January's 0.7 percent drop, the steepest drop since late 2008 amid the financial crisis.
Compared with a year ago, CPI was unchanged. In January the index dipped 0.1 percent, its first 12-month decline since October 2009.
Stripping out volatile food and energy prices, core CPI also rose 0.2 percent following a 0.1 percent gain in January.
Energy prices rose 1.0 percent in February after seven straight declines as crude-oil prices stabilized from a rapid slide since June.
Gasoline prices jumped 2.4 percent after an 18.7 percent plunge in January.
Food prices rose 0.2 percent after being flat in January, returning to the same gain seen throughout the fourth quarter.
The CPI provides a snapshot of inflation in the world's largest economy. The Federal Reserve's preferred inflation measure, the personal consumption expenditures price index, fell 0.2 percent in January from a year ago.
"Global oil prices have bounced around and the appreciating US dollar will continue to put downward pressure on core prices," said Ryan Sweet of Moody's Analytics.
"The February CPI doesn't increase the odds of the Fed beginning to normalize interest rates in June."