budgeting woes

Houstonians hit with among the highest inflation rate in the U.S., study says

Monthly bills, subscriptions, and taxes, oh my. Photo by rc.xyz NFT gallery on Unsplash

Inflation has certainly rattled the national economy, but some cities are feeling that sting harder than others — especially Houston.

According to new study by personal finance experts WalletHub, Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land has been saddled with the No. 7 highest inflation rate in the U.S.

The report compared 23 of America’s largest metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) with Consumer Price Index data to measure inflation trends in two timetables:

  • the most previous month (November)
  • the most recent year

In the most previous month, Houston saw a very slight improvement in inflation when compared to the two prior months, with the city's inflation rate falling by .10 percent. To put that in context, Dallas-Fort Worth experienced the biggest climb in the U.S. with an increase of .90 percent when compared to the two prior months.

In the most recent year, inflation in Houston increased by 4.5 percent year-over-year from November 2022. On that list, Houston tied with Detroit-Warren-Dearborn (No. 5 overall), Michigan and Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colorado (No. 9 overall).

Houston's inflation woes are still an improvement when compared to an April 2023 WalletHub report, which maintained Houston was still experiencing the 7th highest inflation rate in the U.S., but at 5.2 percent year over-year.

Daniel C. O'Neill, a professor of political science and chair of the School of International Studies at University of the Pacific, cited previous government policies, post-COVID-19 pandemic recovery, and employee demands for higher pay as the major factors behind rising inflation.

As consumer demand rose with the introduction of stimulus checks and unemployment benefits during the pandemic, O'Neill explained, businesses post-pandemic had to raise their pay to attract workers.

"In addition, anecdotally it seems that many businesses hit especially hard by the pandemic, such as movie theaters and restaurants, raised prices when people returned to make up for some of those losses during the pandemic," he said. "While rising wages are a good thing, if they do not keep up with increases in the price of rent, food, gas, and other necessities, they are not real increases and wages."

Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land wasn’t the only Texas metro area to make WalletHub’s top 10. Dallas-Fort-Worth-Arlington ranked No. 1, with inflation rising 5.2 percent year-over-year from November 2022.

The top 10 metro areas where inflation is rising the most are:

  • No. 1 – Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, Texas
  • No. 2 – Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, Florida
  • No. 3 – Urban Honolulu, Hawaii
  • No. 4 – San Diego-Carlsbad, California
  • No. 5 – Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, Michigan
  • No. 6 – Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Florida
  • No. 7 – Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, Texas
  • No. 8 – Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, California
  • No. 9 – Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colorado
  • No. 10 – Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, Pennsylvania-New Jersey-Delaware-Maryland

The full report can be found on wallethub.com.


This article originally ran on CultureMap.

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