(NEXSTAR) — Amid rising fuel, food, and housing costs, inflation is up by nearly 8% in the U.S. compared to this time last year, according to the latest Labor Department data released Thursday. This marks the sharpest spike since 1982.
Between January and February alone, inflation rose 0.8%, the government’s report shows. Yet some metro areas have seen an even greater spike in inflation since Feb. 2021.
States in the South have been the hardest hit, seeing an 8.4% increase since February last year, according to the latest report. The West and Midwest weren’t far behind, with inflation rising by 8.1% and 8%, respectively. In the Northeast, the Labor Department reports inflation rose by 6.6%.
Of the 23 metro areas the Labor Department provided data for, the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz., area was the hardest hit by inflation since February 2021, seeing a 10.9% increase. Between December 2021 and February 2022 alone, the area experienced a 2.1% spike.
Close behind was Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, Ga., with a 10.6% rise. Last fall, Atlanta suffered the highest inflation jump in the country at 7.9%. Between December 2021 and February 2022, Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, Fla. had the largest inflation spike of 3.3%.
According to the Labor Department, the San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif., area had the smallest inflation spike between February 2021 and February 2022 at 5.2%.
|Area||% change Feb. 2021-2022||% change Dec. 2021-Feb. 2022|
|Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA||7.4||1.4|
|New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA||5.1||1.4|
|Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA||10.6||2.3|
|Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX||7.8||2.1|
|Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL||9.8||3.3|
|San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA||5.2||1.4|
|St. Louis, MO-IL||8.2||1.1|
For the nine areas with data available from January 2022 rather than February 2022, Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla., had the largest inflation spike of 9.6%. Urban Hawaii and Washington D.C.-Arlington-Alexandria tied for the smallest increase at 6%.
|Area||% change from Jan. 2021-2022||% change from Nov. 2021-Jan. 2022|
|Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX||7.8||1.6|
|Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA||8.6||1.5|
|San Diego-Carlsbad, CA||8.2||2|
|Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL||9.6||2.4|
Data for these areas do not take into account the latest fuel price hikes. Data for the 11 areas with February numbers didn’t include most of the oil and gas price increases that followed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24.
Which categories were hit the hardest?
According to the Labor Department, inflation hit transportation, gas, and electric the hardest.
Transit costs are up 17% compared to 2020, meaning your daily commute will set you back roughly $1,826 more annually. Powering your home with gas and electricity has jumped nearly $700 from last year.
Americans may soon see some relief as the Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates next week to slow down inflation. A rate hike next month would be the first since 2018.
When the Fed raises its short-term rate, borrowing costs also typically rise for a range of consumer and business loans, including for homes, auto and credit cards.
Grocery prices and rent hikes are also impacting inflation, according to The Hill. Experts say March is expected to be much worse following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The Associated Press and NewsNation’s Char’Nese Turner contributed to this report.