ARIZONA, USA — The Valley of the Sun is topping the charts and not for something Arizonans might want to be known for.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Phoenix metro area experienced the highest rate of inflation over the past year when compared to all the other metro areas in the country.
Highest in the nation
The consumer price index for the country rose 7.9% from February 2021 to February 2022.
However, the Valley rose even faster at 10.9%.
“What it means is everyday Arizonans, hardworking Arizonans are spending more of their hard-earned money on everyday goods,” Danny Seiden, Arizona Chamber President and CEO said.
In January, the Phoenix metro was second in highest inflation to the Atlanta metro area.
Why Phoenix metro?
Contributing to the Phoenix metro area leading the nation with the highest cost of living increase are things like fuel and housing.
“One of the reasons why Arizona is a hotspot for inflation is because we are a growth state, we're growing faster than any other county in the country right now,” Seiden said, referring to Maricopa County.
Nationally, experts like Tom Wheelwright, a CPA in the Valley, say inflation has been fueled by things like increased demand and supply chain interruptions among other things.
“The problem with inflation is once it gets a hold, it’s really hard to stop it,” Wheelwright said.
Not expected to slow down for months
Seiden things it’ll be later this year when things slow down, believing Arizona’s economy will be able to outlast the inflation.
But, that’s reliant upon supply chain and demand issues being met.
Other experts haven’t predicted that until early 2023.
Wheelwright said that while people can’t control inflation, they do have control over their money.
“We can all control our own spending habits and our own investing habits,” Wheelwright said.
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