Consumer prices in the US rose slightly more than expected in February, as energy prices increased sharply.

The US consumer price index (CPI) rose 0.5 percent in February month-on-month, recording the biggest increase in almost two years, the Labor Department data showed on Thursday.
Markets had expected the inflation rate to rise by 0.4 percent in the month.

The core CPI, which excludes volatile prices of food and energy, increased 0.2 percent in February, while the markets expected a 0.1 percent increase.

Energy prices rose 3.4 percent in February, with fuel oil and gasoline prices increasing by 5.8 percent and 4.7 percent respectively.

Food prices advanced 0.6 percent as the prices of cereals, dairy, meats, vegetables and nonalcoholic beverages went up.

Year-on-year, the CPI increased 2.1 percent in February compared with 1.1 percent gain in November 2010, indicating an upward trend in prices. Core CPI also rose 1.1 percent on annualized basis.