Tuesday, March 21Welcome

What’s really expensive and what’s cheap this year

New York

It’s been a tough year for US consumers, After battling decades of high inflation for most of the year, gas prices soared to $5 in June.

The latest inflation data, not adjusted for seasonal fluctuations, showed inflation to 7.1% in the year to November after reaching a pandemic-era peak of 9.1% in June, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It shows that it slowed down to %.

According to the Mastercard Spending Pulse, which tracks retail sales excluding auto sales, from Nov. 1 to Dec. 24, shoppers still need to dig deep for gifts, with pre-inflation-adjusted retail sales down the same period last year. increased by 7.6% compared to Holiday meals were also higher, with food prices outpacing inflation throughout the year.

However, some items saw significant double-digit increases in 2022, while others closed deals. Here are the price changes for this year:

Demand for high-end electronics has fallen this year.

Consumer demand for expensive electronic gadgets has fallen recently, and stores are cutting prices.

In the year to November, several major electronic gadgets saw price drops. Smartphone prices plunged 23.4%, TV prices fell 17% and computers fell 4.4%.

Prices of major electronics fell 1%.

Earlier this year, chains like Best Buy and Walmart stocked up on merchandise to prepare for supply chain shortages and the robust consumer demand they foresee. But their plans were derailed by inflation and sluggish consumer confidence.

In addition, many consumers already I made a ton of purchases or upgrades while stuck at home early in the pandemic.

Overall inflation outpaced increases in apparel and other items.

Clothing prices rose, but slowly. Clothing he increased by 3.6% and footwear he increased by 2.3%. Sporting goods increased by 2.7% and toys by 0.6%.

All of these items were above the overall rate of inflation, so the price increases made them relatively bargains.

“In categories like toys, sporting goods and apparel, we’re seeing more aggressive pricing,” Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said in an interview with CNBC in December. “We are still inflated, but not as inflated as other categories.”

Again, many retailers misjudged consumer demand, resulting in overstock. Stores ramped up promotions to sweep merchandise and encourage shoppers to buy. This kept the price down.

Airfares soared as demand recovered.

After falling to an all-time low in 2020, demand for air travel surged this year. Airline ticket prices jumped 36% a year in his year through November.

Delta Air Lines President Glenn Hauenstein called the surge in demand “unprecedented” in March, saying that “like after Omicron, the variant of Covid-19 that spiked the number of cases last winter, demand I’ve never seen it rise so quickly,” he added.

Many airlines reported record earnings in April, May and June, thanks to high fares and fully booked flights, as travelers returned in full force two years after the pandemic.

On the ground, travel has also become more expensive. Gasoline prices rose 10.1% over the year, but are now below all-time highs. Fluctuations in gas prices were largely due to Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and its geopolitical operations using oil supplies.

Still, the national average could still cross the $4-per-gallon threshold in May, according to GasBuddy projections shared with CNN.

That said, GasBuddy, an app that tracks fuel prices, doesn’t expect another year of extreme volatility.

Food inflation outpaced overall inflation in the year to November.

In the year to November, groceries rose 10.6%, outpacing the whole inflation.

Meanwhile, some groceries have become even more expensive for a variety of reasons.

Egg prices surged by a whopping 49.1% due to supply shortages caused by the deadly bird flu, coupled with ferocious demand.

Margarine rose 47.4% due to price volatility in the vegetable oil market, largely caused by the war in Ukraine, while butter rose 27% due to a reduction in global milk supply.

Flour, another staple food, jumped 24.9% as the war in Ukraine impacted global grain markets and as shipping costs skyrocketed in the United States. increased by 19.8%.

Overall, grocery prices rose 12% over the period, with many consumers accepting the price increases as a more thrifty alternative to dining at restaurants, and prices also rose, although a modest clip In 2022, the price of dining away from home will rise by 8.5%, and many restaurants have increased prices on their menus to offset higher input costs.

— CNN’s Matt Egan and Chris Isidore contributed to this report.

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