Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Inflation in the Atlanta area continues to outpace the nation, rising 9.8% in 2021

 Calendar year increase largest since beginning of local series in 1998

Consumer prices in the Atlanta area rose 1.9 percent for the two months ending in December 2021, according to new information released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The two-month increase rose at twice the pace of the nation, which posted a 0.8 percent increase.

For the 12 months ending in December 2021, consumer prices in the Atlanta area increased 9.8 percent, the largest calendar year increase since BLS began posting calendar year data for the Atlanta area in 1998. Nationally, consumer prices rose 7.0 percent over the year.

Index components

Food prices in the Atlanta area increased 0.9 percent over the past two months, moving up 2.6 percent over the year.

Consumer prices for energy rose 2.2 percent over the two-month period, increasing 28.6 percent since last December.

All items excluding food and energy increased 2.0 percent over the two months and rose 9.3 percent over the 12 months ending in December, the largest increase for that index since 1998.

Housing costs rose 1.8 percent over two months, as rental costs increased 1.6 percent and owners’ equivalent of residential rent moved up 1.7 percent. For 2021, housing costs in the Atlanta are rose 7.4 percent as rental costs increased 8.1 percent and owners’ equivalent of residential rent moved up 7.5 percent.

Consumer costs for gasoline increased 1.5 percent over two months. For 2021, costs for gasoline in the Atlanta area increased 55.7 percent.

Impact on consumers

For Atlanta area consumers, increases in prices without a corresponding increase in the value of the items being bought causes a drain on consumer finances. Various items in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers in the Atlanta metropolitan area (CPI-U, Atlanta) have different impacts depending on what percentage of their budget is devoted to each item.

For example, food represents approximately 15 percent of the average Atlanta area consumers’ purchases with 8.7 percent going to food at home and 6.3 percent to food away from home.

Housing costs including rent or mortgage, as well as utilities, represent 35.7 percent of the average household’s budget.

Transportation costs amount to 13.9 percent of the budget for the average household.

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