Is the price right? How much North Texans make, spend compared to other places

DRC

North Texas bargain hunters had an easier time filling up their grocery carts last year but experienced some sticker shock when they got back home.

While overall inflation — as measured by the Consumer Price Index — was tame in the Dallas area in 2017, the jump in the price of housing was nearly 5 percent.

That was the largest jump recorded by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in North Texas since 2000. And it’s due in part to an increase in rents. Renters may fare better this year, as supply of new units is outpacing demand.

Consumer Price Index

The Federal Reserve Bank closely tracks the Consumer Price Index as it mulls raising interest rates. New figures show that the price hike pace for "all items" in North Texas rose by 2.9 percent in the 12 months that ended in March, a slight uptick from the 2.5 percent rise for 2017.

"Dallas-Fort Worth is doing quite well. Wages are increasing nicely. You have inflation that’s accelerating but it doesn’t seem to be closing out any type of consumer spending. So far [inflation’s] not out of bounds."
Cheryl Abbot, regional economist at U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

How well do we pay?

Wages have been rising as many segments of the economy scramble to fill jobs. The Dallas Fed estimated the average hourly wage in Texas at the end of 2017 was $25.31, about 4 percent shy of the U.S. average of $26.24.

CityTotal compensationWages and salariesUnited States2.62.8San Jose3.43.6Seattle6.93.4Los Angeles3.73.3Detroit2.83.2Dallas-Fort Worth region*2.43.2Phoenix2.73.1Washington D.C.2.23.0Chicago2.42.6Philadelphia2.72.4New York2.42.4Houston1.72.0Atlanta1.41.5

"Texas is growing and growing at a fast pace. However, tight labor market conditions will limit stronger growth going forward. This might be a problem. That’s what the worry is, not if [a] trade war may or may not happen."
Jesus Cañas, senior business economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

"Food at home continues to be a wallet-friendly staple. Inflation in that category has been mostly mild since 2013. That gives consumers more incentive to eat at home. That’s good news for the budget-conscious but it means restaurant operators will have to work harder to lure families away from the kitchen table."
Karen Robinson-Jacobs, staff writer, The Dallas Morning News

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