Metro Atlanta inflation drops 4 months in a row, but energy costs increase more than 7%

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The metro Atlanta area’s inflation level is still higher than the rest of the United States, but coming down.

Since May, inflation in the area has fallen 1.4%, data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows.

That means Atlanta inflation is now at 4.4%, while the rate across the country is an average 3.7%, or up 0.6%.

Costs for food, rent, and energy all increased, topped by gasoline prices as the biggest inflation booster, according to BLS.

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Nationally, gas prices rose 10.6%.

In the Atlanta area, residents were slightly less lucky. Gas costs rose 11% for the metro.

For the first time in several months, the biggest driver of inflation for everyone was gasoline, rising above the shelter index, or rent and housing costs.

However, housing costs aren’t going down either, BLS reported the cost of shelter rose for the 40th consecutive month.

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While the cost of housing in the U.S. rose 0.2% in July and 0.3% in August, the Atlanta area’s housing costs were up 0.7% since June. Between rent and mortgages, prices rose 0.9% and 1.1%, respectively.

Food costs in Atlanta rose 5.2% overall, but BLS said it was “led by a 9.9% increase in the food away from home index.” That said, costs for lodging away from home fell by almost 5%, covering costs for hotels and other accommodations such as AirBNB or VRBO stays.

Groceries, meanwhile, rose 2.3% while bakery products and cereal prices went up 5.1%, the biggest individual increase among food items last the store.

In contrast to food prices, the costs of used vehicles and recreational activities decreased, by 1.2% and 0.2%.

Rising costs for Georgia residents has pushed state leaders to action.

Gov. Brian Kemp announced a state of emergency over inflation Tuesday, laying the blame on policies in Washington. To combat the “hit to family budgets,” Kemp said Georgia’s gas tax would be suspended through the middle of October.

More directly, he blamed the policies of President Joe Biden.

“While high prices continue to hit family budgets, hardworking Georgians deserve real relief and that’s why I signed an executive order today to deliver it directly to them at the pump,” Kemp said in a statement. “Working with partners in the General Assembly, we’ll continue to help Georgians weather the economic headwinds caused by this president, his administration, and their allies in Congress.”

The executive order goes into effect Wednesday, and will remain until Oct. 12.

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