Wasatch Front CPI - April 2019
Transportation and housing prices drive up Wasatch Consumer Price Index.
The Zions Bank Wasatch Front Consumer Price Index (CPI) jumped 0.9% from February to March on a non-seasonally adjusted basis. Year over year, the Wasatch Front Consumer Price Index has grown 4.3%, while the national Consumer Price Index has increased 1.9% since March of last year.
With the exception of utilities where prices remained flat, prices ticked up across every other sector in March. Transportation prices drove the overall price increase in March, growing by 3.2% since February. Year over year, due largely to lower-than-average gas prices, transportation prices increased 0.1%.
Housing prices, which rose 0.5% in March, were the second largest contributor in the month-to-month price change. On an annual basis, for the eighth straight month, housing prices were the primary driver of 12-month price growth. This growth, while still strong, appears to be slowing as the housing sector posted its lowest 12-month price growth since September 2018 — a 7.8% year-over-year increase
“The rapid rise in housing prices across the Wasatch Front has come primarily due to population growth and housing supply constraints,” said Scott Anderson, president and CEO of Zions Bank. “As the Wasatch Front continues to build out, we are seeing developers provide higher density approaches to land use as a way to address anticipated future price growth.”
Meanwhile, gas prices are set to grow across Utah in the near term, according to Randy Shumway, chairman and partner at Cicero Group.
“The U.S. average has been inching higher and is currently ahead of Utah’s price per gallon by a little more than twenty cents,” Shumway said. “Utah will continue to close the gap, and it’s likely we’ll soon see more upward pressure on gas prices due to increasing demand as Utahns begin to take more summer road trips.”
Analysis and data collection for the Zions Bank CPI and the Zions Bank Consumer Attitude Index are provided by Cicero Group, a premier management consulting firm based in Salt Lake City. The Zions Bank Utah Consumer Attitude Index will be released April 30.
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