Residents of metro Atlanta have more money, but the price of food, gas, and housing are all up.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, inflation in metro Atlanta has outpaced the national average and led the country in October.
Energy costs are up 28% since a year ago. That includes a 55% spike in gas prices.
Alex Hsu is a Professor of Finance at Georgia Tech who says Atlanta’s growth and strong economy are a factor.
“People are moving here,” Hsu said. “People are spending money. These are signs of the healthy economy. But at the same time, that's going to make things more expensive.”
As new businesses open here there are a plethora of job openings. Employers are eager to hire, putting employees in the driver’s seat when it comes to salary.
“Tight labor market means wage growth is high and people have more money and their consumption power goes up,” Hsu said. “That's going to also drive up price level.”
The price of housing has a huge impact on inflation. The demand for housing in Atlanta is high, and so are prices. Hsu says it’s impacting people whether they’re looking for something to buy or rent.
“The vacancy rate is really low in the Atlanta metropolitan area,” Hsu said. “That is a sure sign that rent growth is very high. So that's going to drive up prices.”
The south leads the country as a region when it comes to inflation.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an item you could buy for $1 20 years ago will cost you a $1.57 today.