by Casey Harper (The Center Square)
Food and gas prices continue to rise, putting pressure on Americans’ budgets, while reports suggest that inflation is slowing.
Gas prices have risen significantly in recent weeks, according to pricing data from AAA. Gas prices reached record highs earlier in the Biden administration, surpassing the national average of $5 a gallon, before falling back again.
Now they’re on the rise again, with regular gas currently at $3.85 a gallon, up from $3.82 a week ago and $3.57 a month ago. Diesel prices have increased from $3.86 per gallon to $4.13 per gallon in the last month.
Food prices have also increased. America Bureau of Labor Statistics Last week Issued Its consumer price index and producer price index, two key markers of inflation, showed prices rose less than half a percent last month.
The CPI grew 3.2% over the past 12 months, and the PPI grew 0.8% over the same period, which is higher than expected.
These rates have slowed from a rapid pace earlier in the Biden administration, but some food products have seen price increases that exceed the average inflation rate.
Overall, grocery prices have risen much faster than the average rate of inflation over the years.
The CPI for all urban consumers is the average of cost growth for US cities, and the average CPI growth for many common household foods has doubled or tripled.
For example, white bread Rose 10.7% from July 2022 to July 2023.
- Cereals and bakery products increased by 7%
- Cookies rose 7.9%
- Breakfast cereals grew 5.1%
- Rice increased by 6.1%
- Frozen and refrigerated bakery products, pies, tarts, turnover increased 8%
- Raw beef steak grew 7.8%
- Raw roasting increased by 6.3%
- Crackers, bread and cracker products grew 8.2%
- ice cream and related products increased by 6.3%
- Frozen vegetables up 17.1%
- Non-alcoholic beverages and beverage content increased by 5.4%
- Margarine up 11.3%
- Salad dressing grew 9.2%
- 5.9% growth in infant food and formula
The cost of some other products such as pork and chicken decreased by 3.7% and 2.5% respectively in the same 12-month period.
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Ryan Young, senior economist at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, told The Center Square that some of the price increases Americans are facing are related to money supply and spending problems, while some of it is due to regulatory and supply chain issues. Also related to issues.
“Inflation can be contained through better money supply management,” he said. “The increases we are seeing in gas and food prices could be helped by expanding energy permitting and exploration, and by getting rid of protectionist agricultural policies and trade restrictions.”
Young also pointed to some promising indicators.
“Some context is also necessary,” he said. “Gas prices are rising. But they’re about 20 cents less per gallon than last year. And the recent rise comes after months of decline. As prices keep going up and down, and people tend to resent the ups and downs, ignoring the ups and downs, which affects the media coverage they get. And in last month’s CPI report, food prices rose at a slower pace than the overall inflation rate. Overall inflation stood at 0.2% during June, while food prices rose by 0.1%.
Republicans criticized the Biden administration after the latest pricing data was released, pointing to the growing federal debt and the money-printing that is helping to increase it.
“American families need relief from persistent and painfully high prices,” said Senator John Barrasso, R-Wyo. “Joe Biden signed into law the Democrats’ reckless tax and spending spree a year ago. He claimed that more spending would lower prices. Once again, he was wrong. The prices are still rising. Americans are facing skyrocketing prices at the grocery store, at the gas pump and while shopping back to school. They are scrambling to sustain their dwindling savings.
The Biden administration has pointed to relatively low unemployment and the progress made since the lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Senator Rick Scott, R-Fla. also targeted Biden after the release of the data.
Scott said, “This week, I’ve been traveling to Florida to listen to the problems families are facing, and in every big city or small town I stop at, one thing keeps coming up – Inflation.”
syndicated with permission from Center Square,