Riverside County Inflation Report: Area Inflation About 3% Higher Than One Year Ago

Connor Forbes
Connor Forbes
3 Min Read

Riverside County Inflation

RIVERSIDE (CNS) – Inflation in the Riverside metropolitan area ended 2023 2.9% higher than a year earlier, according to metrics released Tuesday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The agency’s bimonthly report, which covers northwestern Riverside County, as well as the cities of Ontario and San Bernardino, indicated that the metro area’s Consumer Price Index fell just shy of 3% from January 2023 to January 2024 based on data encompassing shelter, food, energy and a range of other costs.

Officials said that over the previous 12 months, property rents in the Riverside area were up 8.1%, but energy prices were down 10.4%, due largely to a sharp drop in natural gas costs.

Similarly, grocery expenses were 2.8% higher year-over-year, fueled by bigger price tags on cereals and bakery products. At the same time, prices on household furnishings were 6% lower, and costs for new and used motor vehicles were 4.4% below year-ago levels, according to the BLS.

Shorter term, the report found that since the last data analysis and release on Dec. 12, the CPI had not changed measurably due to differential price swings.

Over the two-month period covering December and January, the energy index was down 6.3%, and food prices declined .3%. However, the BLS said that area rents were up .3% and electricity costs were .8% higher over the previous two months.

The report showed pocketbook pressure was up .3% nationwide from January 2023 to January 2024.

The current rate of inflation reflects the elevated price trajectory impacting most sectors of the economy.

Accelerating consumer price hikes have been blamed by the Biden administration on the war in Ukraine and consequent energy supply disruptions, but critics have pointed to the administration’s restrictive domestic energy policies, as well as excessive spending, including the flood of dollars contained in relief packages, as root causes.

The national debt is at $34.2 trillion, after passing $33 trillion just five months ago, according to the U.S. Treasury Department. Estimated annualized interest rate payments on the country’s debt passed the $1 trillion mark in November, according to Bloomberg News. That same month, Moody’s Investors Service lowered its outlook on the USA’s credit rating from “stable” to “negative.”

The Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee started gradually increasing its benchmark, or target, lending rate in the spring of 2022, though the FOMC suspended hikes beginning in October, leaving the rate at roughly 5.25%.

The hikes were an attempt to soak up excess liquidity and slow spending. Financial market analysts are now talking about the possibility of rate cuts.

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Riverside County Inflation
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