Lower gas prices help tame Utah inflation in November

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Utah consumer prices fell 0.7 percent in November, led by gasoline prices that dropped to their lowest level in 2012, Zions Bank said Wednesday.

The decrease between November and December is the largest non-seasonally adjusted decline in nearly three years, according to the Salt Lake City-based bank.

Falling fuel prices in Utah drove down transportation costs by 3.9 percent. Transportation expenses account for almost 20 percent of the average Utahn's monthly expenditures.

Housing prices, including rent and hotel fees, decreased 0.2 percent from November to December. It was only the third time that housing prices fell in 2012, according to Zion's Wasatch Front Consumer Price Index.

Nationally, lower gas costs offset more expensive food and higher rents to keep a measure of U.S. consumer prices flat last month.

The flat reading of the December consumer price index caps a year when inflation slowed. Consumer prices rose only 1.7 percent in 2012, down from 3 percent in 2011.