Inflation up in Western states, but lower than other regions
Consumer prices in the Western states, including New Mexico, rose 0.4 percent in September, and 3.5 percent in the past year. The New Mexico Business Weekly reports:
Transportation costs — including gas — were again the biggest contributor to the West’s year-over-year price spike last month, up 9.6 percent from a year earlier, BLS said. Food and beverage prices rose 4.4 percent from year-ago levels, and apparel costs rose 3.7 percent. Month-over-month, the greatest increase from August to September in the western states was for apparel, up 3.8 percent.
Compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Consumer Price Index measures headline inflation, which includes changes in the prices of energy and food. The high year-to-year change of global fuel prices, which economists say is driven by a combination of increasing demand from emerging markets and speculation, means that ordinary American consumers typically experience higher average expenses than they would otherwise.
Core inflation, a measure of inflation that strips out volatile fuel and food, remains relatively stagnant even as expectations of higher nationwide inflation rose a small amount in September. The Cleveland Federal Reserve announced today that the public expects average annual inflation to be 1.4 percent over the next ten years, up from 1.37 last month. That’s significantly lower than the unofficial target of the Federal Reserve, which is 2 percent.
The Western states had the lowest amount of headline inflation in the past year, with the highest being in the South which experienced a 4.1 percent increase.