Southern, Western States See Highest Inflation Spikes in November

By: - December 10, 2021 12:00 am

Gas prices are displayed in Los Angeles. Gasoline prices continued to lead consumer price inflation in November. Richard Vogel/The Associated Press

Consumer prices reached a 39-year high in November, up 6.8% from the same month a year ago, the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics announced Friday.

The last time inflation reached 6.8% was in 1982, the BLS reported. States in the South and Mountain West experienced the highest spikes, while the Mid-Atlantic region had the lowest increase.

Rising prices for gasoline, up 58.1% compared with November 2020, and used cars and trucks, up 31.4%, led the increases.The latest figures do not reflect the moderation in gas prices the Biden administration hoped to achieve by releasing reserves in late November.

An AAA report earlier this week found gas prices retreating to October levels, down 4 cents for the week to a national average of .35 a gallon, but still up 55% from last year. Renewed global COVID-19 fears have pushed oil prices back to August levels.

Some state leaders have taken action to address inflation concerns. Earlier this week, South Dakota Republican Gov. Kristi Noem cited inflation as a reason for raising teacher and state employee pay, and some states have lowered or suspended taxes in an attempt to soften the impact of higher prices.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, last month proposed a 6-month suspension of gasoline taxes in the state, which would cost billion and lower gas prices by 26.5 cents per gallon.

Some lawmakers in the states most affected by the inflation jump—which are mostly Republican states—also have proposed port and trucking deregulation to fight the supply chain bottlenecks driving up some prices.

For example, Republican Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine last month reinstituted a program allowing haulers to move heavier loads without preapproval, while South Carolina Republican Gov. Henry McMaster authorized the state’s transportation and public safety departments to suspend a variety of rules on registration, permitting, loads and hours of service for commercial vehicles.

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Tim Henderson
Tim Henderson

Tim Henderson covers demographics for Stateline. He has been a reporter at the Miami Herald, the Cincinnati Enquirer and the Journal News.