According to the State Department of Labor and Workforce Development, inflation in Alaska rose a “modest” 2.2 percent last year, placing the state’s 10 year average in a “typical” range.
The Dept says energy prices are generally the strongest driver of inflation in the 49th state, and after a 10.8 percent jump in 2011, last year they rose just 1.1 percent.
The Anchorage Consumer Price Index is the basis for the statistics, with the only long-term index of its kind in the state. Analysts say the results are somewhat influenced by the fact Anchorage residents generally heat with natural gas, unlike most Alaskans outside southcentral.
According to the CPI, housing expenses make up almost 42 percent of the average Alaskan’s income, with the next highest expenses transportation at 17 percent and food at 16 percent. Medical care was also noted for its rise in cost; while it only takes close to 7 percent, the Department says the cost of care has risen 70 percent over the past decade – more than twice the rate of growth overall.