The cost of living along the Wasatch Front increased 0.2 percent in July, the sixth consecutive month of increase, according to First Security Bank's monthly Wasatch Front area cost of living report.
Kelly K. Matthews, the bank's chief economist, said the increase was slightly below the 0.3 percent increase in the cost of living announced by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.Matthews said local decreases in the prices paid for clothing, utilities and housing were offset by increases for groceries, restaurant meals and transportation expenses. Health-care costs remained stable for the month, he said. Here are the particulars:
Clothing - After two months of increases, clothing expenses decreased 1.6 percent in July.
Utilities - Residential utility bills decreased 0.4 percent in July following two months of no change. Gas bills decreased 1.4 percent, causing July's overall decline.
Housing - This expense decreased 0.2 percent in July and ended a seven-month period of increases. Lower rental charges were responsible for the decline.
Food at Home - The cost of buying food for the home increased 2.1 percent in July, continuing the trend of June. Declines in the prices of produce and alcoholic beverages were offset by increases for shelf items and meat.
Food Away From Home - The cost of eating out increased 0.6 percent in July, reversing the June figure. Lower prices for desserts were offset by higher prices for vegetables and main dishes prepared with beef.
Transportation - For the fifth consecutive month, transportation costs increased, this time .1 percent. Higher cost for gasoline and slightly higher costs for public transportation were the culprits.
Health Care - These expenses were stable in July, a departure from an increase in June.