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Higher Gas Prices Power Recent Inflation in Utah

The higher price of a gallon of gasoline was the driving force behind a marked increase in the Wasatch Front Consumer Price Index or CPI last month. The Cicero Group released the latest figures for Zions Bank today Tuesday. Cicero’s CEO Randy Shumway says gas prices affect everything.

“Since the average Utahn spends about 18 cents of every dollar on transportation, says Shumway, that has a big impact on inflation in the state.”

He says the average price went up 36 cents per gallon, increasing the CPI nine tenths percent in February after decreasing two tenths percent in January. Zions Bank released the figures at Pierre Country Bakery on Salt Lake City’s east bench. Andre Tsalpatouros is the owner. He says his customers don’t seem to be discouraged by inflation.

“In terms of spending habits, we have seen, generally speaking, an increase in our average ticket of 15 percent. That’s on the retail point of view, Tsalpatouros says, so people are cautious about how much they spend. But it seems like food is becoming more and more an affordable luxury.”

He says his wholesale business is also growing because his baked goods are in a niche market where value is more of a consideration than price.

Bob Nelson is a graduate of the University of Utah with a BA in mass communications. He began his radio career at KUER in 1978 when it was still in Kingsbury Hall. That’s also where he met his wife, Maria Shilaos, in 1981. Bob left KUER for commercial radio where he worked for 25 years, and he is thrilled to be back at KUER. Bob and his family are part of an explorer group, fondly known as The Hordes and Masses, which has been seeking out ghost towns and little-known places in Utah for more than twenty years.
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