Philadelphia-Area Inflation Rate Lower than National Average in Year-Over-Year October Analysis

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The effect of inflation on household budgets in the Philadelphia area was not as severe as elsewhere in the U.S.

The Philadelphia-area inflation rate from October 2020-2021 was 5.6 percent. Although that is relatively high, the economic indicator shows the region outperforming the nation, whose inflation rate for the same timeframe was 6.2 percent, writes Mike Shields for the Economy League.

This is not the first time for the Philadelphia region to record such high inflation rates. In October 2004, it reached 5.2 percent, while in June 2008 — just ahead of the Great Recession — it swelled to 5.1 percent.

Among the Consumer Price Index components (food, energy, and housing), the key components driving Greater Philadelphia’s inflation rate are energy and transportation, mirroring national trends.

In some categories, the region has outpaced national inflation rates. Apparel, for example, saw an inflation rate of 5 percent, which is 0.7 percent higher than the national inflation rate.

Meanwhile, the inflation rate for food and beverages was below the national rate (5.1 percent) by 1.5 percent.

October was in line with the previous several months in which Greater Philadelphia exhibited relative economic resilience to inflation compared with national trends.

Nationally, the inflation rate was the highest increase seen in the U.S. since 1990.

Read more about the Philadelphia-area inflation rate in the Economy League.

The PBS News Hour looks at what is driving inflation and how it can be reduced.

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