(NEXSTAR) – While the latest numbers show an easing in some measures of inflation – despite a spike in gas prices – some cities have seen larger increases than others over the past year, according to Labor Department data released Wednesday.
The consumer price index was up 3.7% in August over the previous year, an increase from the 3.2% annual pace in July. However, when adjusted to filter out more volatile categories such as food and energy, inflation growth actually slowed from 4.7% in July to 4.3% in August, year-over-year.
This slowing of so-called “core” prices suggests that inflation is coming under control, but at a more gradual pace than the government had hoped as officials try to reach the Federal Reserve’s target of 2%.
“We’re getting to the stage where we’ve basically had all the low-hanging fruit in terms of disinflation,” said Blerina Uruci, an economist at T. Rowe Price. “The progress on core inflation over the coming months is going to be slow and it’s going to be uneven.”
On a monthly basis, consumer prices jumped 0.6% in August, the biggest increase in more than a year.
On an annual basis, Florida’s major metros lead all others when it comes to inflation. The Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach jumped by 7.8%, with Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater notching a 5.9% increase, which tied with Michigan’s Detroit-Warren-Dearborn area.
A July report found that Florida’s steep inflationary trend is in part due to an influx of new residents and tourists.
“Any time you have a population that is growing that is going to push up demand for everything whether its goods, services, food, clothing, vacations, housing, etc.,” Amanda Phalin, an instructional associate professor at the University of Florida’s Warrington College of Business Management Department, told WalletHub.
|Metro Area||Latest Consumer Price Index change vs. 2 months prior||Latest Consumer Price Index change vs. last year|
|Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA||0.6||3.3|
|New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA||1.0||3.5|
|Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA||1.1||4.4|
|Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX||1.0||2.7|
|Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL||1.2||7.8|
|San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA||0.0||3.4|
|St. Louis, MO-IL||0.2||3.1|
|Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX||0.3||4.0|
|Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA||0.6||3.4|
|San Diego-Carlsbad, CA||0.3||4.3|
|Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL||-0.1||5.9|
Gas prices spiked nearly 11%, though they have since leveled off: According to AAA, the average nationwide price at the pump was $3.85 on Wednesday, unchanged from a month ago.
Energy costs rocketed 5.6% in August alone with airfares following at 4.9%, the first rate increase after two months of declines.
While grocery prices ticked up .2% from July and food shows signs of stabilizing, the category is 3% more expensive than it was last year. After double-digit increases the prior year, grocery bills are painfully high for many Americans.
While filling up her car with gas Tuesday night in Falls Church, Virginia, Francesca, who declined to give her last name, said she still notices how much higher her grocery bill has gotten.
“We’re not buying crazy things, like caviar, just the basics,” she said, referring to her weekly food shopping. “And it’s like $150,” compared to a tab of closer to $100 before the pandemic.
The White House Council of Economic Advisors said in a statement Wednesday that it will continue to track the “highly visible” prices of gasoline and food that have such a large impact on family budgets.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.