SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — The rise in the cost of living continues to hit new highs.
For months Utah’s inflation rate has been climbing above the national average.
On Tuesday the consumer price index which measures the average change in prices for goods and services showed the national inflation rate is up 8.5% while Utah’s inflation is at 10.4%.
Unfortunately, ABC4 was told there won’t be relief any time soon.
It’s the “I” word everybody is talking about; Inflation continues to hit record highs around the country and in Utah.
“Our economy is on fire right now,” said VP of Finance at Mountain America Credit Union Jeremy Blair. “People are loving the mountain west region and they are coming here for jobs, they are coming here for housing and while all those things are great for the economy the unfortunate side effect is prices going up along with that.”
Gas and groceries, housing and hotels, airlines, and just about every aspect of life have gotten more expensive.
Blair has studied the economy and inflation for more than 20 years and told ABC4 there are three things driving inflation up: food, fuel, and geopolitical tensions.
Blair said some aspects of inflation are unavoidable.
“It’s hard because those fuels costs and those housing costs are a little bit beyond your control,” said Blair. “You just have to knuckle down and bear those.”
Regional changes are a key reason Utah’s 10.4% inflation rate is almost 2% more than the national average.
Blair said the housing market is tight and there aren’t enough houses for the number of people moving to the beehive state.
He said there’s also a tight job market with the unemployment rate sitting at 2.1%.
Blair added millennials are the ones hit the hardest by these historic inflation hikes.
“Young adults definitely take the brunt of that,” said Blair. “They are in the spending phase of life and they are trying to get an education; they are trying to get established in their careers and many are starting families. That’s where that housing cost comes in.”
The inflation rates spiked because of supply chain issues, then geopolitical issues but now commodities like energy are climbing as well.
Blair said most of the mountain west region is experiencing record-high inflation rates and added to expect inflation to rise for at least a couple more months.
He said the inflation cycle should even out by the end of this year.