Here’s Where Inflation Is Worst in America | Smart Change: Personal Finance | –

Consumers are facing the biggest price increases since the early 1980s — and inflation is much higher than the national rate in certain parts of the country. How high? In one area (Tampa Bay), inflation is running at nearly 10%.

The Labor Department reported that consumer prices soared 7.5% nationally between January 2021 and January 2022, marking the highest rate since February 1982 and topping last month’s 7% rate to set a new 40-year high.

Fueling the national inflation rate are skyrocketing energy and grocery prices. Gasoline prices are up 40% from last year, with overall energy prices up 27%. The cost of meat, poultry, fish and eggs spiked 12.2%, while grocery prices rose 7.4%.

“Americans’ budgets are being stretched in ways that create real stress at the kitchen table,” said President Joe Biden, in response to the inflation report.

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An estimation from Ryan Sweet, an economist at Moody’s Analytics, suggests inflation is costing the average household an extra $276 per month.

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Where inflation is highest

While inflation is putting a drain on wallets all over the country, residents in several regions are dealing with rates higher than the national one.

According to Labor Department data, inflation is above 7.5% in the Midwest, the South and the West. Perhaps surprisingly, inflation in the Northeast is trending much lower than that.

Here are the inflation rates by region:

  • Midwest: 7.9%
  • South: 7.8%
  • West: 7.7%
  • Northeast: 6.3%

Additionally, the Labor Department tracks inflation in key major metropolitan areas. Based on the currently available data, the Tampa Bay region has the highest inflation rate in the country.

Here’s a look at inflation in several major metro areas:

  • Tampa, Florida: 9.6%
  • Riverside, California: 8.6%
  • San Diego: 8.2%
  • Denver: 7.9%
  • Dallas: 7.8%
  • Los Angeles: 7.5%
  • Minneapolis: 7.2%
  • Chicago: 6.8%
  • Boston: 6.3%
  • Washington, D.C.: 6%
  • New York: 5.1%

A ‘turning point’ for inflation?

As noted by Dean Baker, an economist and co-founder of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, not all prices are rising, which provides “some grounds for optimism.”

“The positive story is flat …….


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