The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) this morning reported that consumers across the United States are paying more for just about everything while in the New York metro area the price hikes generally have been slightly lower.
According to BLS statistics, the annual inflation rate in the U.S. went up to 6.2% in October, the highest since November of 1990 and above forecasts of 5.8%. Labor shortages, rising energy costs, wage increases and supply chain issues including congestion at U.S. ports all combined to push up prices.
In its monthly report on the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), the BLS shows that the index for all items tracked increased 6.2% over the last 12 months. In the New York metropolitan area, the CPI-U rose only 4.3% since October of last year.
Nationally, the index for all items less food and energy rose 4.6% over the last 12 months, the largest 12-month increase since the period ending in August 1991. The energy index rose 30% over the last 12 months, and the food index increased 5.3%.
In the New York area, energy prices climbed 27.2% over the year, largely due to a 49.5% jump in gasoline prices, which was the largest increase in gasoline prices since January 2010. The index for all items less food and energy increased 2.8%.
Nationally, all the major energy components increased sharply over the last 12 months. The gasoline index rose 49.6% over the last year, and is now at its highest level since September 2014. The fuel oil index increased sharply over the year, rising 59.1%. The index for natural gas rose 28.1% over the last 12 months, and the electricity index rose 6.5%.
If there was a bright spot in consumer prices, it was for those people buying airline tickets, with prices dropping by 4.6% in the past year according to the BLS.
Nationally, the cost of food to be prepared at home rose 5.4% over the past 12 months. The index for meats, poultry, fish and eggs increased 11.9%, with the index for beef rising 20.1%. The cost of pork rose 14.1%, its largest 12-month increase since the period ending in December 1990.
Prices of used cars and trucks jumped 26.4% in the U.S. in the past year, while new car prices were up 9.8%, the largest 12-month increase since the period ending May 1975.
The BLS report had a minor effect on Wall Street, with the Dow Jones Industrial Stock Average down about 54 points, or 0.14%, just before noon.
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