(Bloomberg) — Regions of the US Sun Belt are approaching double-digit inflation rates, as transportation and other costs add up to pinch Southern consumers.
Prices in the Atlanta area rose 9.8% in December from a year earlier, while Phoenix climbed 9.7% — the two highest inflation rates in a survey of 14 metropolitan areas by the Bureau of Labor Statistics released Wednesday.
In Atlanta, which has been at or near the top of the monthly consumer price index in recent months, transportation costs rose 29.3% and apparel costs climbed 14.2%, significantly higher than the average for both US cities, up 21.1% and 5.8%, respectively. .
Scorching prices of sun belts
Key markets on the coast had relatively small price increases, possibly reflecting their higher starting points and housing markets that did not rebound as quickly as some Sun Belt regions during the pandemic. The New York area saw inflation of 4.4% in December, while San Francisco saw prices rise by 4.2%. The BLS said the country saw an overall consumer-price inflation rate of 7%.
The increase in the prices of new and used vehicles contributed heavily to the higher readings nationwide, with new vehicle prices up 11.8% year over year and prices up 37.3%.
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