Topic: Cost of Living
News
Oct. 12, 2017

U.S. consumer prices rose 0.5% in September, the largest increase in eight months. The result reflects another big jump in energy prices in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, which shut Gulf Coast refineries and caused gasoline prices to jump across the country.

The September increase in the closely watched consumer price index was the biggest one-month gain since a 0.6% rise in January, the Labor Department reported Friday.

Energy prices shot up 6.1%, led by a 13.1% surge in gasoline. Analysts believe that the impact of the hurricane will be temporary.

Core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy, rose a tiny 0.1% in September.

Over the last year, overall prices are up 2.2%, while core inflation has risen 1.7%.

News
Oct. 12, 2017

The Sacramento region’s largest local governments will see pension costs go up by an estimated 14 percent next fiscal year, starting a series of annual increases that many city officials say are “unsustainable” and will force service cuts or tax hikes.

The increases come after CalPERS in December reduced the expected rate of return from investments, forcing local governments and other participants in the state’s retirement plan to pay more to cover the cost of pensions.

. . . Leyne Milstein, the city of Sacramento’s finance director, said the city’s pension costs will double in seven years. While city revenues have also increased in recent years, thanks in part to a strong real-estate market, they have not increased as much as pension costs in actual dollars.

“It’s not sustainable,” Milstein said. “These costs are going to make things incredibly challenging.”

News
Oct. 11, 2017

Southern California wages are rising but a new report from University of Southern California shows that’s not going to make rents more affordable in the long run.

The annual USC Casden Real Estate Economics Forecast found that rents will keep rising over the next two years because the supply of apartments is tight and not enough new housing is coming online.

In Los Angeles County, average monthly rents are expected to rise to $2,373 by 2019 — up $136 from the 2017 average.

News
Oct. 9, 2017

After a decades-long battle with California’s building industry, developers who want to fast-track housing production – especially in cities that have not built enough housing to keep pace with rising demand – will be required to pay higher wages and benefits to construction workers beginning Jan. 1.

Five of 15 housing bills signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown this year include so-called prevailing wage rules for employers and contractors to pay laborers higher wages and benefits for new construction projects.

The requirements, reached after more than a year of negotiations between powerful labor groups and state Democratic lawmakers, represent the biggest expansion of union-backed pay mandates for construction workers since the late 1990s.

News
Oct. 7, 2017

San Diego Gas & Electric filed a request with state regulators late Friday afternoon, asking for an 11 percent rate increase in 2019 and running through 2022.

The utility estimates a typical residential customer using 500 kilowatt-hours of electricity each month would see an increase of $6.13 and a typical customer using 25 therms of natural gas would spend $7.57 more on a monthly bill.

If granted in full, the proposal represents a $218 million increase over 2018 rates.

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