Metro Phoenix remains hot spot for annual inflation as prices rise across board

Sep 13, 2022, 10:21 AM | Updated: 1:17 pm

(Pixabay Photo)...

(Pixabay Photo)

(Pixabay Photo)

PHOENIX – The Valley continues to be a national inflation hot spot, according to federal statistics released Tuesday.

While consumer prices increased 8.3% nationwide in the past year, metro Phoenix saw a 13% surge, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data for August.

The Valley had the highest annual inflation of the metro regions for which August data was made available. The Atlanta, Baltimore and Miami areas also saw double-digit annual increases.

On a positive note, Phoenix’s two-month inflation rate of .8% was its lowest since August of last year and the second lowest since the beginning of 2021. The two-month rate was a whopping 3.1% in June.

BLS provides full consumer price reports for metro Phoenix every other month. The Valley has seen double-digit inflation in each of this year’s four reports, including 12.3% in June.

“We’re not immune from all the other inflationary impacts in food or medical care or anything like that, and then on top of that we’ve had such a hot housing market that’s we’re going to always be in this metric higher until we see house prices actually decline,” Danny Court, an economist with Phoenix-based Elliott D. Pollack & Company, told KTAR News 92.3 FM.

Phoenix-area residents have seen prices go up in almost every consumer category in the past year.

When the volatile food and energy categories are taken out of the equation, Valley prices increased 12.3% since last August and 2.1% since June.

The biggest year-over-year jump was in motor fuel costs, which despite falling 24.7% since June went up 33.5% in the last 12 months.

“It’s widespread; we can’t just look at one category and expect all of inflation to be reduced,” Court said.

Local housing prices have continued to rise, pushing 17.1% higher for the year and 3.5% in the last two months.

Wall Street responded to Tuesday’s inflation report with its worst day since June 2020; the Dow dropped more than 1,250 points.

The Federal Reserve is expected to announce another big increase in its benchmark interest rate next week, which will lead to higher costs for many consumer and business loans.

Even if inflation peaks, economists expect it could take two years or more to fall back to something close to the Fed’s annual 2% target.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Jim Cross and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Metro Phoenix remains hot spot for annual inflation as prices rise across board