The Zions Bank Wasatch Front Consumer Price Index increased 0.9 percent from May to June on a non-seasonally adjusted basis.
Year-over-year, the Wasatch Front Consumer Price Index has grown 5.1 percent, the largest year-over-year increase reported since Zions Bank began measuring prices along the Wasatch Front in 2011. The National Consumer Price index has increased 2.9 percent since June of last year.
Eighty percent of the year-over-year annualized inflation increase of 5.1 percent was driven by steady increases in the housing and transportation sectors. Transportation costs, in particular, have increased 14.4 percent in the past twelve months.
Additionally, in the largest single-month jump since June 2015, transportation contributed nearly 90 percent of the month-to-month increase to the Wasatch Front Consumer Price Index. The increasing cost of rentals and annual price changes of new and used vehicles make up the majority of transportation’s increase.
Housing in Utah had its first month-to-month decrease in five months due largely to seasonal fluctuations in prices.
With a larger and larger and proportion of Utahns’ income going to housing and transportation, less and less is able to go elsewhere. Utahns spent a smaller share of their income on recreation, food at home, and other goods and services in June than they have in any other month since Zions Bank began recording the Wasatch Front Consumer Price Index in 2011. In contrast, Utahns are spending less on groceries and home cooked meals, and are beginning to spend more on food away from home.
“Even though prices in Utah are increasing, many other factors still signal that Utah is doing very well and will continue to be a state with one of the strongest economies in the country,” said Scott Anderson, president and CEO of Zions Bank. “US News’ Best States ranking puts Utah as being in the top three states in the country for its economy, education and fiscal stability and ranks the state third overall.”
“When prices for housing and transportation go up, like they have been here in Utah, it’s typical to see spending on more expensive and easily substitutable goods drop,” said Randy Shumway, chairman and founder at Cicero Group. “Instead, we are seeing that Utahns are still spending more on a luxury goods, such as eating out, than in the past. This is a sign of changing consumer habits. It is a vote of confidence in their place in the economy.”
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.