Year-to-year, the CPI rose from 1.14% in 2013 to 1.32% in 2014. The CPI for fourth quarter went steeply in the opposite direction, from 1.42% to 0.65%, primarily due to the dramatic decrease in gas prices.
“It’s very positive that we are seeing good economic growth while inflation numbers stay fairly benign,” says Grant Forsyth, Avista’s Chief Economist.
Looking ahead, Washington Trust Bank’s Chief Investment Officer, Steve Scranton, does not expect inflation to rise appreciably in 2015, although he says medical premiums and food costs are expected to go up.
Shaun O’L. Higgins, Managing Principal at The Oxalis Group, LLC, concurs. “While the annualized CPI of 1.32% in 2014 was a bit higher than in 2013, it was still slower than 2012’s rate of 1.67%. In our region, inflation is no problem now, and signs are, it will not be one in 2015.”