July 2021 inflation update: gasoline, food and rent prices rise


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Got a sticker shock at the gas pump or the grocery store? There is a reason for this. Recently released data shows that the prices of consumer goods continue to rise almost everywhere.

Prices in July were 5.4% higher than they were last summer, according to the Consumer Price Index report released Wednesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). That’s higher than the 2% inflation rate the Federal Reserve sees as its long-term goal, and Americans are feeling it.

Experts predict that price inflation will subside as supply chains return to normal and the economy recovers from the pandemic recession, so there is no need to panic just yet. In the meantime, however, you may encounter higher-than-usual prices for the following essentials:

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To rent out

The millions of Americans who are renters will be distressed to learn that rents are rising after a pandemic drop in many cities. Prices are up nearly 3% from a year ago, according to the BLS.

While this is far from the highest level of inflation in the economy right now, it is not ideal for tenants who are already grappling with changing eviction directives from the federal government. Case in point: A recent report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition found that rents are already so expensive that people working full-time for minimum wage cannot afford a two-bedroom apartment across the country.

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Car prices continue to rise, but used cars could be a bright spot. The latter’s prices peaked in July after experiencing such an intense bump that for some popular models – like the Honda Civic and Subaru Crosstrek – used vehicles were more expensive than new. Economists are celebrate the new, which some interpret as a sign of a return of inflation to a more normal rate.

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The current national average for gas is $ 3.18 per gallon, according to AAA. Prices are rebounding from a pandemic low of less than $ 2 a gallon last spring, as more travelers refuel and hit the road. People in Hawaii see prices around $ 4.10 at the pump, and in California, people pay an average of $ 4.39.

Biscuits – and roast pork

Surely you’ve noticed that the prices of some of your favorite groceries are skyrocketing this year, and last month was no exception. Bakery products were up – cookie prices rose 1.9% from June to July, and bread, crackers and the like rose 3.7%. Roast pork, ribs and steaks? Up 4.4% from the previous month, while the prices of “frankfurters” (aka hot dogs) increased further.

Meanwhile, restaurant meal prices have risen faster than they have in decades. “The out-of-home food index rose 0.8% in July, its largest monthly increase since February 1981,” the BLS said in a Wednesday statement.

Animals and their accessories

The pandemic has created 23 million new pet owners, according to the estimate by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and now it’s getting more and more expensive to buy pet’s litter and treats. your cat. Retailers like Amazon, PetSmart and Target are reporting shortages of certain brands of pet food amid high demand and competition for ingredients. Maybe it’s time to stock up on your pet’s favorite items.

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Indoor plants

Didn’t adopt a furry friend during the pandemic? You may have become a parent of the plant. Increased demand also results in higher prices for greenery. If you’re still looking to stock up on plants, you’ll pay about 3.8% more for a houseplant today than a year ago, according to the BLS.

Women’s dresses (and clothing in general)

You’ll be paying nearly 20% higher prices than last year if you buy a dress anytime soon, according to the BLS. Supply chain issues have made clothing more expensive overall. In the first months of the pandemic, clothing sales fell 79%; clothing factories have closed due to lower demand and local closures.

Now, all the pent-up demand for clothing is met with still-closed factories, delivery delays and a shortage of retail workers as employees jump ship in search of better-paying gigs.

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