Washington, Jumada I 3, 1434, Mar 15, 2013, SPA -- U.S. consumer prices recorded their largest increase in nearly four years in February as the cost of gasoline surged, according to government data on Friday. The Labor Department said its Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased 7.0 percent last month, the largest gain since June 2009, after being flat in January. Gasoline accounted for about three quarters of the spike in consumer inflation. Economists expected the CPI to advance 0.5 percent. Excluding food and energy, consumer prices rose 0.2 percent slowing from January’s 0.3 percent advance. Meanwhile, gasoline rose 9.1 percent, the largest gains since June 2009, after falling 3.0 percent in January. Gas prices at the pump, however, have declined in the past two weeks. In the 12 months through February, consumer prices rose 2.0 percent, the largest gain since October. They had increased 1.6 percent in January.