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Economist: Consumer prices in the Phoenix area continue to increase

(AP Photo)

PHOENIX — Consumer prices in the Valley have increased another one percent in the past six months, according to a local economist.

Matthew Insco, an economist with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, said consumers are spending about half a percent more for a cost of living index.

“The main thing that’s keeping the inflation down in the Phoenix area are energy prices and that’s led by gasoline prices,” he said.

Insco said energy prices were down about 12 percent, with gasoline prices down about 25 percent. Natural gas service prices decreased about six percent, while electricity prices increased about 2 percent over the year.

Valley consumers also saw a 1.4 percent increase in food prices and a three-and-a-half percent spike in rent prices since last year.

“Just comparing Phoenix to the United States, inflation over the year in the United States has gone up about .7 percent, so Phoenix prices increased at a slightly lower rate than the national average,” he said.

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