TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Price increases continue as the national inflation rate approaches 8%. Clocked in at 7.9% for the nation in the latest Consumer Price Index, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the biggest driver of inflation in the past month was the price of gasoline.
Gas alone rose 6.6% but everything got more expensive over the past month. In terms of how much costs are up, the United States is facing another historic high, the biggest jump year-over-year in 40 years, since January 1982. It’s the second time in two months.
According to BLS, the biggest three price drivers were gasoline, food, and housing. Those factors remain the biggest concerns for affordability and value of the dollar.
Breaking it down, the biggest jumps in price were for food items, which on their own were up 7.9%, the highest increase since July 1981.
All other items, minus food and energy costs, were up 6.4%, another historic high, the most since August 1982.
And, the biggest driver on its own, energy, where costs rose 25.6% year-over-year, the biggest jump since July 1981 as well. According to the bureau, gasoline price increases “accounted for almost a third of the all items monthly increase” on its own. Inflation continues to rise, month-after-month, putting the ability of most Americans to purchase basic necessities further and further away.
Gasoline was up 38% last month. Used car prices rose 41.2% thanks to semiconductor chip shortages that have yet to resolve. However, new vehicles only went up 12.4%.
The ever-popular bacon was up 18.8%, while all meat, poultry, fish and eggs rose 13% in February. Beef prices were up 16.2% and chicken prices rose 13.2%. Pork products were up 14% and fresh fish was 11.8% more expensive.
Even eggs had an increase of 11.4%, compared to last year. While it may be cheaper to switch to vegetarianism as protein prices skyrocket, even vegetables and fruits are seeing big price hikes. Wholesale, fresh produce went up 7.6%. Fruit collectively was up 10.6% while vegetables were up just 4.3%, but lettuce for salads and sandwiches rose 7.9%.
Citrus, Florida’s prodigal product, rose again by 16.2%. Oranges on their own went up 14.3% as transportation costs increase and Florida’s citrus yield weathers a potential 75-year low.
Delivery services, which grew more popular during the COVID-19 pandemic also rose by 9.7%.
If you’re looking for a jumpstart to your day, you’ll pay more for that too, with the price of coffee up 10.5%. Even margarine, the ubiquitous butter substitute got 11.4% more expensive, but cost increases aren’t just restricted to food and gas.
Rent and mortgages payment prices continue to rise. Housing costs went up 4.7%. Rent went up 4.2% while mortgages rose 4.3%. Lodging away from home, like hotels, AirBNB and other temporary accommodations rose a whopping 25.1%, putting vacations and spring break at risk of being too costly for fun. Distractions from the world aren’t able to avoid the increases either.
Entertainment has a price, and it’s rising.
Popular pastimes like sporting events and concerts went up in cost as well. Costs for tickets to games went up 20.9% and cost of concerts, movies and stage productions went up 4.6%. Even where you put your paycheck went up in price, with banking services now costing consumers 10% more.