LOCAL NEWS

Seattle consumer prices up 3.4% from 2020 as US deals with inflation

May 12, 2021, 2:48 PM
prices...
A section of empty shelves is seen during special shopping hours only open to seniors and the disabled at Northgate Gonzalez Market, a Hispanic specialty supermarket, on March 19, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

You’re not imagining it: Prices for just about everything are up, including for gas, cars, and a lot of consumer goods. Locally, prices are soaring as the nation deals with a bout of inflation.

Prices in the greater Seattle area rose 1.1% just in the last two months, and 3.4% in the last 12 months, but that’s actually better than the jump seen across the United States.

“Nationwide, prices rose 4.2% over the last year, which was the largest over the year percent change since 2008,” Matthew Insco, an economist with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, told KIRO Radio.

What does he think is driving the increase?

Used cars and trucks. That went up 12% over the last two months, and a little over 22% over the last year,” he said.

Gas prices have increased too, Insco says, by more than 15% over the last two months, and 35% over the last year. When gas prices are up, it can have a broad impact.

“A lot of these things can be tied together. For example, the food that goes to the grocery store needs to be delivered. Transportation costs are tied to gasoline prices,” Insco explained.

Washington gas prices are rising, but not because of the Colonial Pipeline attack

Marketwatch.com says this may also be tied to trading bottlenecks created globally by the pandemic, and increasing demand as the economy opens back up. The federal reserve indicates the increase is temporary and should subside next year.

But Insco urges caution in this modern, uncharted, post-pandemic world.

“During this pandemic period, a lot of different things have been happening, so whether it’ll be a long-term trend or not remains to be seen,” he said.

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Seattle consumer prices up 3.4% from 2020 as US deals with inflation