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Inland Empire Experiencing the Highest Inflation in the U.S.

Photo of Downtown Riverside.
UCPath Center
Photo of Downtown Riverside during sunset.

According to data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Inland Empire is experiencing the highest inflation rate in the country.

The data looked at the country’s top 23 most populated metro regions and showed that the Inland Empire experienced a 6.7% increase.

Daniel MacDonald is a Cal State San Bernardino Associate Professor and chairs their Department of Economics. “About 90% of the inflation that we saw in the recent numbers come from just these two categories, transportation, and housing,” said MacDonald.

Transportation saw a 21.6% increase and 5.7% for housing. MacDonald added, “So it is a problem, but it’s a problem that’s concentrated in just a couple areas of the economy, and not necessarily a widespread phenomenon that’s affecting literally everything you buy.”

Within transportation, the cost of fuel saw the most significant increase at 36%. Despite the concerning news, MacDonald says we should look more at the details and the bigger picture.

Macdonald said, “Gasoline prices are going up, but they were also quite low a year ago, right? So part of this is just kind of a correction of what was going on during the pandemic, now we’re coming out, and we see these very high prices, but we have to remember that a year ago gas prices were falling.”

Another significant increase included prices for meat, poultry, fish, and eggs, which saw a 14.2% jump. Other metro areas that saw the biggest increase include Atlanta and St. Louis who tied for second with 6.6%, and San Diego at fourth with 6.5%.

Jonathan Linden was a reporter at 91.9 KVCR in San Bernardino, California. He joined KVCR in July 2021 and served with the station till October 2022.