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Report: Inflation continues to impact Arizona families

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(The Center Square) – Inflation is still impacting families in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area, according to a new Common Sense Institute report.

The free-market think tank’s May inflation update analyzed different price increases from 2020, which determined that prices across the board are still significantly higher.

Most notably, the report says that “typical” Arizona families would have saved an estimated $8,428 annually if inflation remained at a more stable 2% annual rate in “the past three years.”

“Inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the Phoenix metro area rose 2.6% year-over-year in April, an increase from 2.2% in February,” the report states. “This latest reading represents the 38th consecutive month of inflation above the standard target of 2.0% annually and represents a break from the trend of decreasing year-over-year inflation rates in the state that extended back to July 2022.”

When broken down, CSI estimates that the average increase in rent since October 2020 has been 30% for a 2-bedroom rental, nearly $24 more for a tank of gas, $20 more for dinner for four people, and a whopping $302 more a month for groceries for a family of four.

The report says that while “shelter inflation” continues to be a problem, CSI thinks that it is “more widespread” based on the recent data. According to Apartments.com, the average rent price in Phoenix is $1,563 for a two-bedroom apartment.

The silver lining for the Phoenix area centers on comparison with other metropolitan areas, as the report points out that the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics went from ranking Phoenix as one of the highest inflation hotspots to one of the lowest.

“Of the 23 urban consumer price indices tracked by the BLS in April, the Phoenix metro area had the lowest rate of measured inflation over the past year (backwards-looking) – a stark difference from 3rd highest in the month-over-month (real-time) figures, and again highlighting the extreme volatility of local prices since the pandemic,” the report states.

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