Inflation is back, according to economists. This is due in part to accelerating job growth, new stimulus packages and the rising price of fuel. There is a worry that interest rates will rise, which could curtail spending and derail the housing market with higher mortgage rates. However, for the time being, those problems seem well into the future. The prices of some items Americans buy regularly have soared, and a few have dropped, according to government numbers.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics releases data on price movements across dozens of items each month. The official name of its report is the “Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers.” The most recent report was for February. One measure of inflation is how much prices for individual items have risen in a month.
Fuel and transportation prices soared in February. The price of fuel oil rose 11% in just one month. Many Americans use this to heat their homes. Among other items, the price of car rentals, propane and firewood were each up around 7%. Rising over 6% were the price of ham, video discs and admission to sporting events. There were also increases in other foods, led by margarine, apples and eggs.
25 Items With Soaring Prices
|Car, truck rental||7.4%|
|Propane, kerosene, firewood||7.3%|
|Gasoline (unleaded regular)||7.2%|
|Gasoline (all types)||6.4%|
|Ham (excluding canned)||6.1%|
|Video discs, other media||4.9%|
|Admission to sporting events||4.9%|
|Gasoline (unleaded premium)||4.8%|
|Intracity mass transit||4.3%|
|Checking account, bank services||4.0%|
|Other fresh fruits||3.8%|
|Video discs, media (including rental)||2.9%|
|Other bakery products||2.4%|
|Crackers, bread, etc.||2.3%|
|Sewing machines, fabric, supplies||2.3%|