The U.S economy took a significant hit during the COVID-19 pandemic and then had a rapid recovery.  Now, all we hear about is inflation and rising interest rates, but what does that mean for consumers? Inflation measures the overall increase in prices of goods and services in an economy, affecting our everyday cost of living. Prices of food, medical, housing, and energy continue to climb. The national consumer price index (CPI) is one of the common ways to track inflation. It was around 2% before the pandemic; now, it’s at 8.2%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This year our national economy had its highest CPI in four decades at 9.1% back in June.

Cost of Living: Inflation Stubbornly High

Cost of Living in Virginia

A recent report by the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center using cost of living survey data found Virginia to be in the bottom-middle of the pack in terms of cost of living by state. Virginia ranked 32nd in cost of living (1st = lowest cost of living, 50th= highest cost of living). While Virginia continues to have a lower cost of living than much of the Northeast and West Coast, our cost of living is higher than many of our neighboring states. Here is an excellent tool by BANK RATE to use if you want to compare the cost of living based on metro cities across the country and in Virginia.

Cost of Living: Composite Cost of Living Index

Housing trends are essential when tracking economic activity. Stay on top of the latest economic data here at Virginia REALTORS®.