* IPC-FIPE index rises 1.15 pct in January
* Index seen as early preview of national price index
SAO PAULO Feb 4 (Reuters) - Inflation in Sao Paulo, Brazil's most populous city, accelerated in January on higher food prices and a seasonal increase in education costs, an economic research institute said on Monday.
The IPC-FIPE index rose 1.15 percent last month, up from a gain of 0.78 percent in December, according to the University of Sao Paulo's FIPE research institute.
The FIPE index is watched by economists as an early gauge of Brazil's benchmark IPCA inflation index, which is targeted by the central bank when setting interest rates. Brazil's statistics agency IBGE will release January's IPCA index on Thursday.
The IPC-FIPE measures inflation within the boundaries of the City of Sao Paulo and does not include prices in the wider metropolitan area.
Below is the result for the FIPE index price categories:
Item January December =============================================================== - Housing 0.35 pct 0.47 pct - Food 2.11 pct 1.40 pct - Transportation 0.23 pct 0.29 pct - Personal care 2.42 pct 2.01 pct - Health 0.41 pct 0.24 pct - Clothing -0.33 pct 0.03 pct - Education 6.08 pct 0.15 pct ================================================================ - INDEX 1.15 pct 0.78 pct