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Meat products for sale at Costco in Tucson Arizona.

(The Center Square) – Phoenix metropolitan area residents are experiencing America’s most severe inflationary pressures.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released its latest Consumer Price Index Tuesday morning. 

The Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale urban area saw a 13% increase in CPI compared to the same month in 2021. The only metropolitan area to come close in terms of inflationary pressure compared to last year was the Atlanta, Georgia, area that experienced an 11.7% increase.

“This was a bad report just in terms of the first-derivatives (the headline rates), in that it means policy actions to date haven’t had their intended effect,” said Glenn Farley, director of policy and research at the Common Sense Institute of Arizona. “In part, this is probably explained by the fact that the Federal Reserve is effectively fighting the U.S. Treasury which inhibits our ability to get inflation under control relative to a world where they were cooperating.”

Most importantly, Farley said Phoenix households spent $9,800 over the past 20 months to buy the same things that they were buying in 2020 – more than offsetting any wage gains over the same period.

“Even if the inflation rate falls to zero, households are still losing $840/month due to the price increases that have already happened,” he said.

Nationally, all urban consumers saw a 0.1% increase in August after a steady July, a modest increase they attribute to an increase in staples but offset by falling gas prices. 

“Increases in the shelter, food, and medical care indexes were the largest of many contributors to the broad-based monthly all items increase,” BLS said. “These increases were mostly offset by a 10.6% decline in the gasoline index.” 

Managing Editor

Cole Lauterbach is a managing editor for The Center Square covering the western United States. For more than a decade, Cole has produced award-winning content on both radio and television.