Does Atlanta Still Lead the Nation in Inflation?

Last year I shared a post about Atlanta having the highest inflation rate among U.S. cities in 2021. My post was inspired by a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) article that talked about how Atlanta saw an influx of people during the pandemic, because of the city’s attractiveness, that caused Atlanta to have a higher inflation rate than other cities (mainly driven by above-average increases in housing costs).

I wanted to see where Atlanta stands today, so I did a little digging. The U.S. Bureau Of Labor Statistics (BLS) produces a city-specific Consumer Price Index (CPI) for various metropolitan cities, including Atlanta. The latest report, released this past week on November 14, includes Atlanta’s October CPI.

When the WSJ came out in February 2022, the 12-month Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for metro Atlanta was 10.6%; it peaked at 11.7% a few months later in August. Since August 2022, the rate has been declining, and it stood at 3.2% as of last month. For context, before the pandemic in December 2019, Atlanta's CPI-U was 3.3%.

I did a quick check against New York and Miami and found that Atlanta ranked below both cities in October. New York’s 12-month CPI-U was 3.5%, and Miami’s was 7.4%.

I’m no CPI expert, but the data appears to be showing that the rate of cost increases in Atlanta is moderating. The BLS’s next metro Atlanta CPI will be released on January 11. I’m curious to see whether this trend continues.

If you’re interested in reading the city-level October 2023 CPIs for Atlanta, Miami, and New York, they’re here, here, and here