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In May 2012, on a non-seasonally adjusted basis, the Zions Bank Wasatch Front Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased 0.5 percent, compared to decrease of 1.0 percent nationally. Food at home and transportation prices both increased approximately 1.0 percent, driving nearly 60 percent of the inflation in May. Local prices, year-over-year, have increased at a healthy 2.6 percent rate.
Gasoline prices are falling nationally, and were effectively flat along the Wasatch Front in May. Utah lags behind national gasoline price trends, but falling prices in this area are very important. As other consumer goods continue to increase in price, consumers can allocate dollars to more productive consumption like housing, education and clothing.
Overall, prices along the Wasatch Front increased 0.5 percent (non-seasonally adjusted) in the month of May, while national prices decreased 0.1 percent (non-seasonally adjusted).
Food at home:
Food at home increased 1.0 percent as the price of fresh produce and meat products climbed. Costs of food at home — including meats, produce, wheat and dairy — account for 8.4 percent of a typical Utahn’s consumption.
Food away rose 0.3 percent as the price of fast food and alcoholic beverages increased. Costs of food away — including full service meals, fast food and alcoholic beverages — account for 7.0 percent of a typical Utahn’s consumption.
Housing went up 0.2 percent as the price of hotel and motel rates and furnishings rose. Costs of housing — including rental costs, home maintenance and hotel rates — account for 34.5 percent of a typical Utahn’s consumption.
Utilities increased 0.6 percent as the price of water climbed. Costs of utilities — including electricity, gas, water and garbage —account for 4.3 percent of a typical Utahn’s consumption.
Clothing rose 1.1 percent as the price of men’s and women’s apparel increased. Costs of clothing — including, women’s, men’s and children’s apparel — account for 4.8 percent of a typical Utahn’s consumption.
Transportation grew 1.2 percent as the price of car insurance rose. Costs of transportation — including, but not limited to, new and used vehicles, gasoline and airfare — account for 19.9 percent of a typical Utahn’s consumption.
Medical care increased 0.9 percent as the price of non-prescription drugs and medical care services rose. Costs of medical care — including prescription drugs, medical care services and nursing home services — account for 6.2 percent of a typical Utahn’s consumption.
Recreation decreased 1.0 percent as the price of sporting goods declined. Costs of recreation — including electronics, sporting goods, club fees and pet products — account for 5.8 percent of a typical Utahn’s consumption.
Education and communication:
Education and communication increased 0.6 as college tuition climbed. Costs of education and communication — including college tuition, personal computers, Internet and telephone — account for 6.2 percent of a typical Utahn’s consumption.
Other goods and services:
Other goods and services remained the same from April to May. The price of personal care products declined, while the price of laundry and dry cleaning increased. Costs of other goods and services — including tobacco products, cosmetics and personal care products — account for 3.0 percent of a typical Utahn’s consumption.