(KTSF by Michelle Yue)
An economist from the Department of Labor stressed that an inflation rate of about 2% is average. “What this means for most people out there is if your income is increasing by more than 2% , then you are better off and have more buying power today than you did a year ago,” said Amar Mann, an economist from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“However, if your income has not increased or you have your hours cut, then the 2% would not be good news for you,” Mann added.
Housing rental costs in the Bay Area in April jumped 4%, higher than the nationwide average of 2.7%. “What we have seen is that since the end of the housing crisis, not as many of people are willing to jump into homes. They are looking to rent so there is a lot of pressure on the rental market which has driven rental prices up,” said Mann.
Compared with the sharp increase in rental costs, food and beverages in the Bay Area only increased by 1.4% year-to-year, which is below the the national average of 3.1%. Mann added, “In the bay area we pay a lot more for our housing and rental costs, but one thing where we are lucky is that we don’t pay as much for food and beverages.”
According to the statistics, apparel prices jumped up both nationwide and in the Bay Area. Some economists, however, say higher prices for apparel is not necessarily a bad thing. ” Some people would say that maybe this is a sign that our economy is finally improving. People are willing to pay a little bit more money in order to look good and dress well,” Mann noted.
Gas prices in the Bay Area jumped 5.1% percent in April from two months ago. However, compared with a year ago, gas prices in the Bay Area only increased by 0.1% percent, much less than the national average of 3.2 %.
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