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Bay Area consumer prices skyrocket and remain at 21-year highs

Bay Area consumer prices skyrocket and remain at 21-year highs

Consumer prices in the Bay Area skyrocketed in April and nearly matched the annual increase posted in February, which was a 21-year high, a grim new government report revealed on Wednesday. The Bay Area inflation rate jumped at an annual pace of 5% in April, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday. The…

Consumer prices in the Bay Area skyrocketed in April and nearly matched the annual increase posted in February, which was a 21-year high, a grim new government report revealed on Wednesday.

The Bay Area inflation rate jumped at an annual pace of 5% in April, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday.

The yearly increase in consumer prices in April was only slightly lower than the 5.2% annual rise that the government reported for the Bay Area in February, the federal agency reported.

The increases posted so far this year were the highest since mid-2001, according to this news organization’s analysis of government reports stretching back to 1990.

Costs for food such as meat, poultry, fish, cereal and dairy products, along with massive increases in gasoline prices and sharp jumps in monthly PG&E utility bills, coalesced to shove the Bay Area annual inflation rate higher by 5% in April.

Nationwide, the annual inflation rate reached 8.3% in April, a pace that remained near a 40-year high, the government reported.

Consumers and borrowers now face a double whammy of soaring prices and rising interest rates.

The Federal Reserve is set to hike interest rates on Wednesday by a whopping half percentage point. The Fed is alarmed that inflation could morph into a runaway spiral.

Officials with the Central Bank are betting that a steady diet of increases in interest rates will help to choke off the surge in consumer prices. But the interest rate hikes also might throttle economic activity and job growth.

 

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