Consumer Prices Rise Across 90% of Spending Categories

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NOTD - 90%

The Balance

That’s how many spending categories in the Consumer Price Index contributed to November’s soaring inflation rate, showing just how widespread price increases have become. 

Of the 205 detailed categories tracked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 184 had at least some increase in the year through November, anywhere from 0.2% (recreational books) to 60% (gasoline,) Friday’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) report showed. Overall, CPI rose 6.8%, the fastest clip since June 1982.

Indeed, the overall inflation rate is getting worse, and November’s data shows it’s not just a few items driving it. Higher prices are all around us, impacting our purchasing power not only when we’re filling up at the gas station, but when we’re buying a used car or truck (prices are up 31%), using beef roast or bacon for a Sunday meal (prices are up 26% and 21%), or outfitting our living room or closet with new furniture or a men’s suit (both are up 14%).

“There are few if any places that inflation has not accelerated in recent months,” Diane Swonk, chief economist at Grant Thornton, said in a commentary. Price increases will decelerate in spring 2022, but in the meantime, inflation  “will not cool enough, fast enough to be insignificant to most consumers,” she said.

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