APTOPIX California Daily Life

A FedEx cargo airplane passes over Whittier, Calif., on its way to Los Angeles International Airport in July 2015. Increases in airplane fares have contributed to a rise in the January 2016 Wasatch Front Consumer Price Index.

Slight rise in Wasatch Front Consumer Price Index

The Zions Bank Wasatch Front Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased 0.2 percent from December to January on a non-seasonally adjusted basis. The index has increased 3 percent since this same time last year, which is slightly higher than the Federal Reserve’s national inflation target of 2 percent. The year-over-year increase can be attributed to the period of several months leading up to January 2015, which were marked by price decreases, followed by a period of sustained price increases. The national Consumer Price Index increased 0.2 percent from December to January and increased 1.4 percent over the last year.

Transportation prices contributed more than any other category to the increase in Utah’s January 2016 CPI, rising 1.8 percent from the month before as vehicle prices, insurance rates and rates for airfare rose. Prices for flights outstripped falling fuel prices, as airfares typically lag falling oil prices. Gasoline prices in Utah are still higher than the national average of $1.72 per gallon and currently average $1.76 per gallon.

“The sustained drop in oil prices has been distressing to some industries,” said Scott Anderson, Zions Bank’s president and CEO. “But while we may see some further market volatility in the coming months, recent increases in prices among several major consumer product categories — including oil itself — give us reason to be optimistic.”

After transportation, recreation prices increased more than any other sector, rising 0.6 percent from December to January. However, with recreation only accounting for 6.0 percent of the average Utahn’s expenditures, these increases had a minor impact on the Wasatch Front CPI.

Several other categories contributed to the increase in Utah’s CPI. Rates for utilities increased 0.2 percent, clothing prices rose 0.1 percent, education and communication prices rose 0.2 percent, and other goods and services prices rose 0.3 percent. These four categories together make up nearly 20 percent of an average Utahn’s expenses. Food away from home prices decreased, while food at home prices remained unchanged.

Medical care prices fell 1.8 percent, and housing prices declined 0.1 percent. Housing prices have a large impact on the average Utahn’s expenditures, making even a minor price decline significantly impactful on the overall CPI.

Analysis and data collection for the Zions Bank CPI and the Zions Bank Consumer Attitude Index are provided by the Cicero Group, a market research firm based in Salt Lake City.

Crio Bru partners with Sprouts

Crio Inc. is a Lindon-based company specializing in CrioBru, a non-caffeinated brewed drink made from roasted cacao beans. Crio Inc. announced an agreement with Sprouts Farmers Market to deliver Crio Bru’s brewed cocoa beverage through more than 200 stores in 13 states. The agreement includes the full line of Crio Bru flavors roasted through the company’s process using cacao(cocoa) beans from Equador, Ghana, Dominican Republic, and Venezuela.

“We are honored to be added to the Sprouts lineup of healthy, natural, and organic foods,” states Dr. Eric Durtschi, CEO and founder for Crio Bru. “Sprouts Farmers Market represents the finest offering of nutritious foods available. We are pleased their customers will now be able to discover the tantalizing taste and nutritional benefits of unique brewed cocoa drink.”

Sprouts Farmers Market, Inc. is a healthy grocery store offering fresh, natural and organic foods.

In preparation for rapid growth, Crio Bru recently secured a significant venture investment from Esperer Holdings, LLC of Santa Barbara, California. Funds will provide working capital for the Sprouts rollout as well as plans to expand production to the Santa Barbara area, to better serve the high concentration of Sprouts stores in Southern California and the Bay area.

“We are pleased to play a role in the rapid growth of this truly unique company, Crio Bru,” states Steve Sorensen, principal at Esperer Holdings, LLC. “The Sprouts agreement further demonstrates demand for the healthy, tasty benefits of Crio’s brewed beverage lineup.”

Karissa Neely reports on Business & Community events, and can be reached at (801) 344-2537 or kneely@heraldextra.com. Follow her on Twitter: @DHKarissaNeely

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