Driven by higher energy costs, consumer prices rose by 0.3 percent in December and 4.1 percent for the year, the sharpest annual increase since 1990, the Labor Department reported this week.

Stripped of food and energy prices, so-called core consumer prices rose by 0.2 percent last month and 2.4 percent for the year, the report said.

According to the National Federation of Independent Business, rising energy and labor costs are putting pressure on small-business owners to raise selling prices.