Showing posts with label atlanta bls. Show all posts
Showing posts with label atlanta bls. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Inflation in Atlanta advances: Consumer prices rise 1.8 percent over 2 months, 6.7 percent over the year


Consumer prices in the Atlanta metro area advanced 1.8 percent in the two months ending in June 2021, according to new information released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The change was the largest two-month increase in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers for Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell since June 2015. 

Food prices in the Atlanta area rose 1.4 percent, and energy prices increased 4.2 percent between April and June. The index for all items less food and energy increased 1.6 percent over the two-month period. 

Over the past 12 months, the rate of inflation in the Atlanta area was 6.7 percent, the largest 12-month increase since BLS began reporting bi-monthly data for the Atlanta CPI-U in 1999. Food prices rose 1.4 percent over the year, while energy prices increased 27.5 percent. The index for all items less food and energy advanced 5.8 percent. 

12-month inflation rates for selected major indexes 

Costs for food and beverages increased 1.7 percent, as prices for food at home rose 0.1 percent over the 12 months, while costs for food away from home increased 2.8 percent. 

Housing costs rose 4.1 percent with residential rents rising by 4.4 percent, and owners’ equivalent of rent costs increasing 3.9 percent. Costs for fuels and utilities were up 3.2 percent over the year, although electricity costs rose at a slower rate of 1.8 percent. 

Transportation costs increased 23.9 percent, as gasoline costs rose 59.3 percent over the year. Costs for new and used motor vehicles increased 23 percent. Excluding new vehicles, the cost for used cars and trucks was up 44.1 percent. 

Prices for medical care rose 0.3 percent for the 12 months ending in June, the lowest percentage increase of any of the major indexes. 

Looking at inflation over 24 months 

Disruption to consumers and businesses due to Covid-19 restrictions and shutdowns in 2020 appeared to have resulted in a significant decline in inflation rates as consumers cut back on their purchases. For example, the rate of inflation for the 12 months ending in June 2020 was 0.9 percent, a drop from the 1.1 percent increase recorded for the 12 months ending in June 2019. As a result, some of the inflation appearing currently is a catch-up of prices as business activity increases in 2021. 

One way of approaching this decline and then advance of prices is to take the measurement over two years, rather than a single year. For the two years ending in June 2021, the CPI-U for all items advanced 7.6 percent, or 3.8 percent each year over the past two years, a rate which is higher but still closer to the 12-month inflation rates appearing in 2017 for the Atlanta area. 

Using the same formula, the increase in inflation for all items less food and energy rose 8 percent over the past 24 months, or 4 percent each year. 

With the largest slowdowns of inflation occurring in the first half of 2020, the test of whether higher inflation rates are becoming embedded in the economy will come in future months as consumer prices reflect the gradual reopening of the economy that began in the fall of 2020. 

If the two-month increases remain at or above the 1.6 percent rates recorded for the Atlanta area in February and April 2021, then there will be more justification to be concerned over lingering inflation and its related problems. 

About the CPI for Atlanta 

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell measures a fixed market basket of goods and services for all urban consumers in the Atlanta statistical area. 

The Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA, Core Based Statistical Area is comprised of Barrow, Bartow, Butts, Carroll, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, Dawson, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Haralson, Heard, Henry, Jasper, Lamar, Meriwether, Morgan, Newton, Paulding, Pickens, Pike, Rockdale, Spalding, and Walton counties in Georgia.

For additional information, contact the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Southeast Information Office.