Inflation Hits Purchases of Used Cars, Bacon, Citrus Fruit and Airline Fares the Most

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The Consumer Price Index (CPI) surged in April, representing the largest 12-month increase since September 2008, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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The CPI, which measures what consumers pay for goods and services, including clothes, groceries, restaurant meals, recreational activities and vehicles, saw a 0.8% increase in April and a 4.2% increase over the last 12 months, according to a release.

Some consumer goods saw particularly high hikes in prices, let’s take a look at which items are getting more expensive and what it means for you.

The index for used cars and trucks rose 10%, representing the largest 1-month increase since the series began in 1953, and accounting for more than a third of the seasonally adjusted all items increase.

The food index also rose by 0.4%. Breaking down this category further, the index for fruits and vegetables rose 0.8 percent in April as the index for fresh fruits increased 1.5%. The index for dairy and related products rose 0.6% and the index for meats, poultry, fish and eggs rose 0.5% over the month. The index for cereals and bakery products increased 0.4% and the index for nonalcoholic beverages rose 0.3% in April. The index for other food at home rose 0.1 percent over the month.

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Interestingly, the food item that saw the biggest rise was bacon, with a 10.7% increase last month, according to the data. Citrus fruit also saw an significant rise, with a 7.8% increase.

In addition, the indexes for owners’ equivalent rent and for rent both increased 0.2%.

Not surprisingly, with the economy re-opening and an accelerated vaccination pace,  the index for lodging away from home rose sharply, increasing 7.6% while the index for airline fares also rose sharply in April, increasing 10.2%.

But not everything is getting pricier. Indeed, the energy index decreased slightly in April, as a decline in the index for gasoline in the same month more than offset increases in the indexes for electricity and natural gas, according to the release. However, the report notes that the energy index rose 25.1% over the past 12 months and the gasoline index rose 49.6% over the last 12 months, its largest 12-month increase since the period ending January 2010. The index for natural gas increased 12.1% and the index for electricity rose 3.6% over the same period.

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.
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