TAMPA, Fla. — As the United States economy continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, one area that shows no signs of easing up on consumers is inflation.
In October, U.S. inflation rate settled at 6.2 percent year over year. That marked the highest rate of inflation since 1990 or 31 years. October’s inflation numbers were 0.9 percent, which was the highest rate since June 2021 and the third reading higher than 0.5 percent in 2021.
And while some economists have linked much of the inflationary pressure to automobiles, the federal government said Wednesday that increases in the indices for energy, shelter, food, used cars and trucks, and new vehicles are among the largest contributors to inflation.
Looking in-depth at the numbers, it’s easy to see where inflation is really taking hold. Here’s a look at some of the sectors with the highest increase in prices, according to the Washington Post.
- Fuel oil – up 59%
- Gas – 50%
- Utility – 28%
- Used Cars – 26%
- Hotels – 26%
- Washing Machines – 15%
- Furniture – 12%
- TVs – 10%
But the higher costs can also be seen when you go to the grocery store. According to the government, steaks, bacon, and other items are all seeing double-digit gains in prices. Take a look at some of the numbers:
- Steaks – up 24%
- Bacon – 20%
- Pork Chops - 16%
- Eggs – 12%
- Fish – 11%
- Chicken – 9%
- Milk – 6%
By the way, the only two sectors that didn't show increases in prices in October, per the federal government, were alcohol sales and airfare.
The biggest question now is how long will inflation continue to run at such a high rate? Unfortunately, the answer right now is no one really knows.
Wages, while rising, have not kept up with the soaring rates of inflation and while stimulus checks, and child tax credits have helped ease some of the pain for many Americans, eventually they will end and that could produce more short-term pain.
Combined with the rising costs of gas, heating oil, wood, and other methods of warming homes in the winter and the economy could be facing major issues through the spring of 2022.
All of it will be looming over the Biden Administration and both parties in Congress as the country tries to move past the worst pandemic of modern times.