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WASHINGTON (AP) - Higher food and gas costs pushed up U.S. consumer prices in April by the most in 10 months, evidence that inflation is ticking up from very low levels.

The Labor Department says the consumer price index rose 0.3 percent last month after a 0.2 percent gain in March. Over the past 12 months, prices have increased 2 percent, the largest gain since July and matching the Federal Reserve's inflation target.

Excluding the volatile food and energy categories, core prices rose 0.2 percent in April and have risen 1.8 percent in the past 12 months.

Food prices jumped 0.4 percent for the third straight month, driven by the largest increase in the cost of meat in 10 years. Gas prices rose 2.3 percent, the first increase in four months.

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