TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Inflationary pressures are making everything, for the most part, more expensive this holiday season. Tampa-area prices are up 8% compared to last year, rising above and beyond the national inflation rate, currently 6.8%.
When it comes to the longer term price ratcheting, the cost of materials to create our products is an important measure of the economy, and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Producer Price Index showed fresh produce and raw metal got more expensive.
For the first time in almost 40 years, processed goods cost almost 30% more than the year before.
“For the 12 months ended in November, the index for processed goods for intermediate demand advanced 26.5 percent, the largest 12-month increase since jumping 28.9 percent in December 1974,” BLS reported.
Fresh fruit and melons, and raw iron and steel. From metal to produce, prices increased between 10.7% to 20.1%. Even asphalt, used for paving roads, playgrounds, parks and dams got more expensive, with a 16.2% increase. Even the unprocessed goods that make up the production side of the market are getting hit with energy-related cost increases.
“For the 12 months ended in November, the index for unprocessed goods for intermediate demand jumped 52.5 percent,” according to the PPI. The BLS said more than 80% of November’s price increases were thanks to the rising cost of unprocessed energy materials.
Still, not all goods are getting more expensive.
Raw milk prices dropped 10.3% and the cost of slaughter poultry, like chickens and turkeys, and hides and skins also went down. So, milk, leather and birds are cheaper, but fuel, grains, metal and fresh produce prices are ticking up.
Demand for services increased, too.
BLS reported “a 6.1-percent advance in prices for securities brokerage, dealing, investment advice, and related services. The indexes for portfolio management, television advertising time sales, transportation of freight and mail, temporary help services, and fuels and lubricants retailing also increased.”
On the flip side, the costs of chemicals, arrangement of freight and cargo transport shrank, as did some business loan prices.
Intermediate demand prices for things like natural gas, crude petroleum, industrial chemicals, iron and steel scrap, fuels and lubricants retailing, and utility natural gas went up 28.1%, higher than the drop for liquefied petroleum gas, arrangement of freight and cargo transportation, and primary nonferrous metals.
BLS said the increase was 28.1%, the highest they’d ever recorded in a year’s period since they started recording the data for stage 2 intermediate demand in November 2010. It means that the cost of products bought by industries which are involved mostly in production or output went up higher than ever before.