(NewsNation) — Prices soared 9.1% in June as American consumers continue to face rising grocery bills and surging fuel costs. The latest consumer price hike announced Wednesday is the largest 12-month increase since 1981.
“This is much worse than anyone expected and there will have to be some aggressive action from the Federal Reserve to rein this in,” said NewsNation contributor Lydia Moynihan.
As bad as they are, the numbers are sure to leave many wondering: How can prices be up only 9.1%?
It’s because the core measure of inflation, the Consumer Price Index (CPI), represents the average change in prices across a variety of goods and services.
In some categories, such as fuel and groceries, prices have risen more than 9.1%. In others, like some electronics, prices are actually lower than at this time last year.
How do we know this? Each month, hundreds of government price checkers visit stores in 75 urban areas across the country and record the costs of specific items.
Those prices are collected from about 6,000 housing units and approximately 22,000 retail establishments, including department stores, supermarkets, hospitals and filling stations, among others.
So which prices are up the most? Here’s a breakdown:
Prices at the grocery store are up 12.2%, and depending on what you usually buy, your weekly bill may be even higher. Categories such as milk (up 16.4%) and eggs (up 33.1%) have risen faster than most food items.
One bit of good news: foods such as fresh fruits (up 7.3%) and vegetables (up 6.5%) have risen at slower rates than the average.
Americans have likely noticed the biggest price hikes at the gas pump, where the cost of regular fuel has risen 61.1% in the last year. In some ways, it’s the most important indicator because the cost of fuel impacts the price of nearly everything you see at the store.
“Fuel costs are too high, diesel is too high. Everything that you buy gets to you in a truck,” said Melissa Armo, founder of The Stock Swoosh LLC.
Other Goods and Services
For the millions of Americans traveling this summer, the cost of lodging (up 11.5%) and airfare (34.1%) have soared well above the average for all goods and services.
Other industries that have been impacted by post-pandemic supply chain disruptions, like new cars (up 12.5%) and household furniture (up 15.4%), have seen prices rise faster than most.
Where Prices are Down
If you’re in the market for a new TV or smartphone, then you’re in luck, as prices have actually fallen in those categories, decreasing 12.7% and 20%, respectively. The same goes for sporting event tickets, which are down 6.1% from last year.
Inflation has continued to climb as the economy recovers from the coronavirus pandemic, making consumers increasingly anxious about a potential recession. A measure of consumer confidence has reached its lowest point in 16 months, with Americans’ outlook darkened by inflation fears, especially gas and food prices.