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New York City inflation highest in 30 years, report says


(The Center Square) – Inflation in the New York City area is growing at its highest rate in 30 years. That’s according to a report issued Friday by New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

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DiNapoli added that the hikes are smaller than both the national average over the past year and other large metropolitan areas. However, the state official warned the increase in personal expenses appears to be outpacing income growth.

DiNapoli’s office tracks consumer prices published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In a statement, the Democrat said that monitoring plus how consumers react to price changes is an essential part of assessing New York’s economic outlook and fiscal health.

“While the Federal Reserve Board has begun to act, global supply chain challenges and the effects of geopolitical instability on commodity prices are likely to continue to drive prices higher in the short term,” he said.

Last month, BLS reported that the New York City metro area’s 12-month consumer price index jumped by 6.1%. That means if the goods and services evaluated as part of the CPI cost $100 in March 2021, they cost consumers $106.10 last month.

New York City’s increase in the 12-month CPI for March was a full percentage point more than what BLS reported in February. The 12-month change reported in March 2021 was just 2%.

Inflation: Bad in NYC, Worse Elsewhere

Still, compared to other major metro areas, New Yorkers’ increases were less than what consumers paid in Los Angeles, which experienced an 8.5% 12-month CPI increase in March. In Denver, the increase over the past year was 9.1%, while Tampa saw prices jump 10.2% over the same span.

Nationally, the CPI for March 2022 was 8.5% higher than it was a year before.

Energy and transportation costs have had the biggest impact on CPI increases. According to DiNapoli’s office, energy costs were 32.7% higher last month than in March 2021. Transportation costs grew by 14.7% over the same span. Still, the comptroller found several major cities, including Boston, Dallas and Washington, D.C., that saw their transportation costs for the same timeframe jump by at least 20% last month.

Nationally, transportation costs jumped by 22.6% in March compared to the same month in 2021. DiNapoli said the increases in the national average and other cities are likely due to the continued increase in new and used car prices.

“In contrast, there is widespread reliance in the NYC metro area on mass transit systems, which did not experience similar increases and likely moderated the growth in transportation prices relative to other metros,” his report stated.

While inflation in New York seems to be a bit softer than it is in other parts of the country, DiNapoli advised that it’s still taking a toll on the state. While his report did not have earnings data for the New York City region, the analysis said earnings grew by only 2.3% statewide from March 2021 to last month, and the New York City metro area is home to most of New York state’s workforce.

“The disparity suggests consumers may be losing their purchasing power,” DiNapoli wrote.

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