ARIZONA NEWS

Phoenix-area prices up by nearly 11% in past year, outpacing national inflation

Mar 10, 2022, 4:00 PM
(Getty Images File Photo)...
(Getty Images File Photo)
(Getty Images File Photo)

PHOENIX – The Phoenix area outpaced the nation in inflation over the past year, with consumer prices surging by nearly 11%, according to data released Thursday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

National prices were 7.9% higher in February than a year ago, the largest 12-month increase since the report for January 1982.

It was even worse for Valley residents, who saw inflation as measured by the consumer price index surge by 10.9% in the past year, BLS reported.

If the volatile food and energy categories are taken out of the calculations, annual inflation was 9.9% in metro Phoenix and 6.4% nationally.

Led by a gas spike, Phoenix-area energy costs rose by a whopping 29.6% in the past year, but prices soared across the sector: 43.8% for gas, 17.2% for natural gas and 12.9% for electricity.

Valley economist Jim Rounds told KTAR News 92.3 FM earlier this week that high gas prices hit low-income individuals especially hard because they spend a disproportionate percentage of their income at the pump. Gas prices also have a ripple effect throughout the economy, he said.

“It costs more for food. It costs more for other products because of the distribution costs,” he said. “So overall when you see the high gas prices, that’s only the tip of the iceberg.”

Valley food prices were up 8.2% annually, with a 16.2% rise for meats, poultry, fish and eggs putting a crimp in grocery budgets.

If you’re looking for a silver lining, the price of alcoholic beverages only went up 1.4% in the last year, the smallest increase among all categories in the BLS data.

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Phoenix-area prices up by nearly 11% in past year, outpacing national inflation