The Zions Bank Wasatch Front Consumer Price Index ticked upward in July, rising 0.2 percent from the previous month.
Prices for utilities had the largest impact on this month’s increase, while other sectors experienced either modest increases or slight drops. The national Consumer Price Index decreased 0.1 percent from June to July and has increased 1.6 percent from this time last year.
National gasoline prices are up to $2.36 from $2.26 a month ago, and state gasoline prices have decreased to $2.47 from $2.50 in the same time period.
Utilities prices drove the increase in the overall CPI from June to July as summer water and sewage rates were put into effect. Medical care prices also increased 1.6 percent as prices for prescription drugs and dental care increased.
“Since the beginning of the year, we’ve witnessed steady and sustained price increases statewide” said Scott Anderson, Zions Bank president and CEO. “Moderate inflation incentivizes companies to produce more goods, which will likely lead to more jobs and higher rates of employment within the overall economy.”
The rise in Utah’s overall CPI was also driven by higher prices in the following categories:
- Food away prices rose 0.6 percent as prices for full-service meals increased slightly
- Education and communication prices increased 0.5 percent as college tuition rates increased in anticipation for the new school year
- Housing prices increased 0.2 percent as housing rental rates and hotel rates increased over the past month
Utah’s price increases were slightly offset by lower prices in the following sectors:
- Transportation prices fell 0.7 percent due to decreases in statewide gasoline prices
- Food at home prices fell 0.5 percent as fruit prices decreased this month
- Recreation prices fell 0.2 percent due to price drops for pet care products
“Housing prices have continued to increase within the economy” said Randy Shumway, chairman and partner at Cicero Group. “Generally, gently rising housing prices encourage consumer spending and economic growth, putting Utah’s economy in a great position heading into the final months of summer.”
Analysis and data collection for the Zions Bank CPI and the Zions Bank Consumer Attitude Index are provided by Cicero Group, a premier market research firm based in Salt Lake City.