Monday, July 31, 2006

Rocketing inflation strikes Lehigh Valley

Rampant inflation continued to march through the Lehigh Valley this spring, led by surging prices in fuel, housing and medical care.
Over the past year, consumer prices have rocketed about 7 percent overall, the largest annual increase ever measured in the 22-year history of The Morning Call/Kamran Afshar Consumer Price Index.

"This is really, really high," said Kamran Afshar, the Bethlehem-based economist who assembles the price survey, adding, "I don't want to say it, but maybe we should get used to it."

That's because Lehigh Valley inflation has been well above the 3 percent average for more than two years, outpacing the rest of America during that time.

But now, inflation is rearing its head across the nation, too. In the April-to-June quarter, Lehigh Valley prices rose 1.63 percent. Meanwhile, United States inflation rose by nearly the same amount, 1.55 percent during the same time.

"This quarter, the nation caught up with us," Afshar said.

-- reporting by Gregory Karp, The Morning Call

Article courtsey of The Morning Call

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