Gas prices fueled much of the rise in the consumer price index for Atlanta, the government said. Prices had dropped early in the pandemic when demand fell, so production was cut back. Now,  demand is climbing but production has not kept pace.  (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)U.S. inflation last month rose at its fastest annual rate since 1990. It grew even faster in Atlanta — more than in any other major metro area.

Propelled by increases in gas prices, apartment rents and the cost for goods, the consumer price index for metro Atlanta climbed 7.9% in October from a year earlier, compared to the national average of 6.2%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That also was a bigger increase than in a government sampling of 13 other major metro areas, which ranged from 3.8% in San Francisco to 7.5% in St. Louis.

Energy prices were up 28.2% in metro Atlanta during the past year, largely because of spiking gasoline prices, while the price of used vehicles soared nearly as much and housing costs rose 6.7%, according to Janet Rankin, BLS regional commissioner.

Rents in Atlanta rose faster than any other city, according to a survey by RealPage, which provides software to real estate owners. Housing construction has struggled to keep up with the area’s population growth, as more Americans continue to move from the north to the south.

Atlanta gas prices are up an average of $1.34 a gallon, compared to a $1.29-a-gallon increase nationally, according to Gas Buddy. It wasn’t immediately clear why prices have risen faster here than nationally since last month.

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