Inflation moderates in some hot spots, but barrels ahead in the mid-Atlantic
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Several regions in the U.S. that have become a hotbed for inflation saw prices cool in April, except for one notable outlier: the mid-Atlantic.
The Labor Department reported Wednesday that consumer prices in the mid-Atlantic region, which includes Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Delaware, rose by 7.2% in April from the previous year. While that is still below the national average of 8.3%, it is the only region in the country that did not see prices pull back last month.
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By comparison, in the Mountain state region — Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico – inflation moderated somewhat, falling from 10.4% to 9.8% in April.
Other states are also experiencing a slight slowdown in inflation, although it remains well above the national average and far higher than pre-pandemic levels. Prices fell from 9.5% to 9.3% in the region that includes Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana. Prices in the South Atlantic, meanwhile, fell from 9.2% to 8.8%; that region encompasses Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.
Rising inflation is eating away at strong wage gains that American workers have seen in recent months. Real average hourly earnings decreased 0.1% in April from the previous month, as the inflation increase eroded the 0.3% total wage gain, according to the Labor Department. On an annual basis, real earnings actually dropped 2.6% in April.
On average, Americans are shelling out an extra $311 a month on goods and services because of inflation, according to a new Moody's Analytics analysis. The financial squeeze stems from the rising cost of a number of everyday goods, including cars, rent, food, gasoline and health care.