RALEIGH – Inflation continues, and is now the largest increase in any 12-month period since the period ending January 1982.

That’s according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which found that for the prior 12 months, ending at the end of February 2022, inflation was 7.9 percent.

That 12-month increase, tracked across the consumer price index (CPI-U), is now the largest since the period ending January 1982, according to a statement issued this morning by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In February 2022 alone, the index increased by 0.8 percent, after increasing 0.6 percent in January 2022.

Walden: Are there good answers to your questions about inflation? You decide.

Gasoline & Food

The increasing cost of gasoline and rising food prices were the large contributors to the index’s seasonally-adjusted inflation findings.  Gasoline, which rose 6.6 percent in February 2022, accounted for nearly a third of the increase in the CPI-U index, the statement noted.  And the food index rose 1.0 percent, along with a 1.4% increase in the the food at home index, the largest monthly increase in both categories since April 2020.

Consumer prices for gasoline and food aren’t the only consumer products on the rise.  The cost of shelter is increasing, as well.

Price of war: As gas prices, other costs surge, what do we do? Economist says …

Housing costs rising, too

The index that tracks consumer spending without energy or food costs rose 6.4 percent in the prior 12 months, and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the largest contributing factor to the growth in that index was the rising cost of shelter.

And though mortgage rates fell at the beginning of March, they’ve ticked back up this week, according to the results of the latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey®.  Meanwhile, home prices in the Triangle continue to rise, and buyers are facing bidding wars where they’re agreeing to pay more than $100,000 above asking price on homes.

Up $100,000 in one year: Durham County median home sale prices jump 33.3% in 12 months

Mortgage rates up this week

Nationally, the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage increased from 3.76 percent last week to 3.85 percent this week, which is about three-quarters of a point higher than at this time last year.

Average rates for a 15-year fixed mortgage also increased this week, rising 0.08 percent to 3.09 percent, according to Freddie Mac, which releases the survey data weekly.

“Over the long-term, we expect rates to continue to rise as inflation broadens and shortages increasingly impact many segments of the economy,” Freddie Mac wrote in this week’s report.  “However, uncertainty about the war in Ukraine is driving rate volatility that likely will continue in the short-term.”

Prepare for a bidding war: Most Triangle home sales top list price, some by $100K+