Inflation in the U.S. hit a 40-year high in March 2022 with the government’s consumer price index shooting up by 8.5% compared to the same time last year. Yet some parts of the country are feeling the pinch of inflation more than others.
According to the consumer price index, states in the South, as a whole, have seen the greatest spike — 9.1% — in inflation between March 2021 and March 2022. The West has experienced the second-worst spike, with an 8.7% change followed by the Midwest at 8.6%.
Last month, these rankings were the same. The South suffered the largest spike during the 12-month period ending in February 2022 at 8.4%, followed closely by the West and Midwest.
Within the most recent report, states in the Mountain West subregion — from Montana south to New Mexico — have been hit hardest at 10.4% change over the last year. Following the Mountain West is the West South Central subregion — Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana, according to the Census Bureau — with an inflation spike of 9.5% over the last year.
Of the 23 metro areas the Labor Department provides data for, the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla., area was the hardest hit by inflation since March 2021, seeing a 10.2% increase. Between January and March alone, the area experienced a 2.1% spike. Close behind was the Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif. area, with a 10% rise.
The consumer price index shows the New York-Newark-Jersey City area experienced the smallest year-over-year inflation spike at 6.1%.
|Area||% change from Mar. 2021||% change from Jan. 2022|
|Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX||9||3|
|Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA||10||2.7|
|San Diego-Carlsbad, CA||7.9||2.1|
|Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL||9.6||2.1|
For the 14 areas with data available from Feb. 2022 rather than March 2022, the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz., area was the hardest hit, seeing a 10.9% increase.
The San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif., area had the smallest inflation spike between Feb. 2021 and Feb. 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|
Across the economy, the year-over-year price spikes were widespread. Gasoline prices rocketed 48% in the past 12 months.
Used car prices have soared 35%, though they actually fell in February and March. Bedroom furniture is up 14.7%, men’s suits and coats 14.5%. Grocery prices have jumped 10%, including 18% increases for both bacon and oranges.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.