Inflation: Products That Break Wallet

On Wednesday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that consumer prices are rising at a 7% clip as of December 2021 — the highest rate in roughly 40 years. As CNBC summarized, prices for several key items rose significantly between December 2020 and December 2021:Gas — 49.6%Used vehicles — 37.3%Hotels — 27.6%Furniture and bedding — 13.8%Meat, poultry, and fish — 12.6%New vehicles — 11.8%Eggs — 11.1%Domestic services — 9.4%Stationery — 9%Jewelry — 8.8%Major appliances — 8.4%Margarine — 6.7%Electricity — 6.3%Apparel — 5.8%According to more data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “real average hourly earnings” — which consider the effect of inflation — decreased by 2.4% last year. For an American earning $50,000 per year, inflation is therefore causing a $1,200 pay cut.“In what was the best year for wage growth that we have seen in many, many years, it still comes up as a loss for many households,” Bankrate chief financial analyst Greg McBride commented to CNBC. “Their expenses increased even faster and chewed up all of the benefit of whatever pay raise they had seen.”Despite skyrocketing prices, the Biden administration claims that it is “making progress” on rising inflation.“Today’s report — which shows a meaningful reduction in headline inflation over last month, with gas prices and food prices falling — demonstrates that we are making progress in slowing the rate of price increases,” President Joe Biden said in a statement released on Wednesday. “At the same time, this report underscores that we still have more work to do, with price increases still too high and squeezing fami …

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