U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics under the US Department of Labour on September 13th 2022 released Consumer Price Index statistics for the month of August 2022. Consumer Price Index helps us understand how prices of various essential commodities have changed in an economy over a set period of time. It also gives us an idea of the state of inflation in the domestic economy of a country.
In August 2022, the Consumer Price Index rose by 0.1% mainly due to increased prices in shelter, food and medical care. In the month of July 2022, CPI remained unchanged in a seasonally adjusted measurement.
Over the last 12 months, cost items in the consumer price index increased by nearly 8.3%. In July, it was 8.5%.
Even though gasoline prices in August declined by 10.6% compared to July, food items got expensive by 0.8%. Shelter, transportation services, medical care services and electricity also became costlier in August compared to July.
While comparing with last month only gives us a smaller picture of reality, let us now check how inflation and global economic phenomenons have impacted the prices of essential commodities in the USA over the last year.
Price changes of essential commodities in the last 12 months
Food prices in general increased by more than 11% in the last 12 months as disruptions in global supply chain impacted heavily on food prices.
Cereal and Cereal products—17.4% increase
Rice – 13%
bread – 16.2%
Flour and prepared flour Mixes – 23.2% increase
Fresh biscuits, Rolls, and Muffins—17.1% increase
Meat & Fish
Prices of meat increased by 6.7%, while pork and related products saw an increase of 6.8% in prices over the last 12 months.
Chicken and Fish prices increased by 16.6% and 8.7%.
Buying Eggs has become one of the costliest affairs in the United States as Egg prices saw an increase of nearly 40% over the last year.
The increase in Egg prices is mainly due to the cost of feeding chickens. There has been a significant amount of increase in prices of grains and wheat since the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. This high cost of acquiring grains and wheat makes the process of feeding chickens more expensive.
Prices of dairy products such as milk and cheese increased by 17% and 13.5% over the last 12 months. The cost of buying ice cream and related products also increased by 14%.
Other miscellaneous products –
hot dogs: +18%
peanut butter: +15%
baby food: +13%
pet food: +13%
Energy, which has been one of the most talked about pricing points in the world saw an overall increase of 24% in cost over the last 12 months.
Gasoline prices shot up by 25.6% along with the cost of purchasing electricity, which went up by 15.8%. This has been considered one of the major reasons for higher inflation rates in the country.
Purchasing new cars got costlier by more than 10% in last year. Maintaining cars has also got a more costly affair as prices of motor vehicle parts and equipment have gone up by 13.4%.
Airline fares which is one of the major parts of public transportation in the United States of America have got costlier by more than 33%.
Even though the reduction in prices of oil in international markets can be seen as a piece of positive news, the US Federal Reserve along with both federal and state governments of the United States has to take serious economic policy decisions to undo the harmful effects of high inflation rates in the country.