The American City With No Inflation

The two primary government measures of inflation both signaled that prices continue to rise sharply. The Consumer Price Index posted an 8.3% increase year over previous year in August. It rose .1% compared to July. The figures would have been worse if gas prices had not plunged.

The other yardstick is the Producer Price Index, released by the BLS. Year over year in August, it rose 8.7%. Compared to July, it dropped .1%. Once again, if the effects of energy are back out, the figures will be worse for Americans.

The CPI number is a better indication of what Americans actually pay for goods and services. It is based on what people pay day to day. According to the CPI number, prices of some daily purchases like eggs rose well into the double digits year over year in August. The consumer’s ability to cover costs continues to be squeezed substantially. Wages, in many cases, are not rising as fast as the cost of living.

The CPI figures are also released by month for the major U.S. metros. The differences among these can be substantial. WalletHub analysts look at the top 25 cities each month. They measure year over year figures, in the most recent analysis for August. They also post the monthly number compared to the two previous months.

On an annual year over year basis, several of the figures are extremely high. This is led by Phoenix at 13%. The city with the slowest inflation growth was San Francisco at 5%.

The comparison of August against the two previous months may be a better measure of the day to day experience of consumers. By the measure, only one city had a drop of over 1%. In Anchorage the fall off by this yardstick was a drop of 4%. People who live in Anchorage can count themselves as lucky. In a period when inflation is at a multi decade high, their city is moving against the trend.

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