Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Utah cost of living mostly flat but higher transportation, utility costs loom
First Published May 15 2014 01:13 pm • Last Updated May 15 2014 04:35 pm

The cost of living along the Wasatch Front remained essentially flat last month, with the Zions Bank Consumer Price Index (CPI) increasing just 0.1 percent from March to April.

Utah consumers, however, may not want to get too comfortable.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Zions Bank warned Utahns face higher gasoline prices and possibly higher utility prices in the coming months that may lead the cost of living to jump in coming months.

The bank noted that transportation costs increased 0.7 percent in Utah from March to April, but the 2 cent average price per gallon increase for gasoline accounted for just part of that jump. Higher prices for new and used cars accounted for the rest of that increase. Those prices climbed "likely in anticipation of the increased demand that warmer weather typically brings."

Lower utility costs somewhat offset higher transportation costs in April compared with March, according to Zions.

Overall, utility prices fell 1.6 percent due to a 9 percent decline in the cost of natural gas.

With regard to both transportation costs and utility costs, however, Zions foresees higher prices in the future for Wasatch Front consumers.

It noted gasoline prices in Utah began to accelerate toward the end of the April and continue to climb. The average price per gallon of gasoline in Utah was about $3.35 at the beginning of April, Zions said, but had increased to about $3.55 per gallon by the end of the month.

Since then, according to AAA, they have jumped to about $3.60 per gallon.

Likewise, "Utahns should keep an eye on their utility bills over the coming months ... as many analysts are concerned about the current inventory levels of natural gas," Zions said.

story continues below
story continues below

A colder-than-average winter in much of the nation ate into natural gas stockpiles to a point where "many analysts are worried that they may not be replenished in time to meet demand for winter heating."

"A supply shortage may send natural gas prices, and subsequently Utahns’ utility bills, much higher in the coming months if producers are unable to replenish natural gas inventory levels," the bank said.

Cicero Group provides analysis and data collection for the Zions Bank CPI.

The CPI shows that over the past 12 months, prices have increased in Utah by 1.4 percent.

The national CPI, released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, increased 0.3 percent from March to April on a nonseasonally adjusted basis. It has increased 2.0 percent over the past 12 months.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.