Inland Empire gets its own Consumer Price Index, and the trend isn’t pretty
The Inland Empire’s first Consumer Price Index is out and its initial inflation picture isn’t pretty.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has sliced Riverside and San Bernardino counties out of the previous five-county Southern California CPI. Starting with January data, the Inland Empire will get a cost-of-living snapshot every two months. Los Angeles and Orange Counties will get their own CPI monthly.
Unfortunately, the government’s new Inland inflation measure comes with no history so we are stuck with seeing just one-month of price changes. From December to January, the IE’s CPI rose 0.9 percent, nearly twice the 0.5 percent increase seen for all U.S. cities. Prices rose in the month by 0.8 percent in L.A.-O.C.
The key culprit for the Inland’s surging inflation? Gasoline prices, up 4.7 percent in January vs. a one-month rise of 5 percent in L.A.-O.C. and 3.2 percent nationwide.
Curiously, housing costs in Riverside and San Bernardino counties moderated the local CPI. Housing expenses in January — remember, just one month, rose only 0.1 percent vs. up 0.6 percent in L.A.-O.C. and up 0.4 percent nationwide. Inland Empire rents, by CPI math, actually fell 0.3 percent vs. a jump of 0.4 percent in L.A.-O.C. and up 0.3 percent nationwide.
Other slices of the Inland Empire CPI vs. L.A.-O.C. and national trends …
Apparel: Up 2.9 percent vs. up 3.6 percent in L.A.-O.C. and up 1.4 percent nationwide.
Energy services: Up 2.8 percent vs. up 1.3 percent in L.A.-O.C. and up 0.2 percent nationwide.
Food at home: Up 0.9 percent vs. up 0.1 percent in L.A.-O.C. and up 0.5 percent nationwide.
Food away from home: Up 0.6 percent vs. up 0.5 percent in L.A.-O.C. and up 0.4 percent nationwide.
Recreation: Up 1.2 percent vs. down 0.4 percent in L.A.-O.C. and up 0.3 percent nationwide.