The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Tuesday that consumer prices in the geographic area that includes New York City, White Plains, Newark and Jersey City as of the end of August were up 3.7% from a year ago.
Energy prices jumped 21.7% led by a 42.3% increase in the price of gasoline. Turning on the lights became more expensive with electricity costs rising 8.2% from where they had been in August 2020 and 4.8% from July 2021 to August 2021.
It wasn’t only the fuel prices that drove up transportation costs. The prices of new cars and trucks went up 11.5% year over year with the price of new vehicles up 6.3% and used cars and trucks up 32.3%.
Housing prices were up 2.3% year over year with no change noted from July to August of this year.
The statistics showed relatively modest increases in food prices with an increase of 0.5% in August. Candy and chewing gum, as well as snacks, were among the groceries with higher August prices.
Among the categories with a price decrease was recreation, down 0.3% from July to August but up 0.4% year-over-year. There were seasonal price increases for apparel totaling 5.6% with clothing costs up 8.8% since August 2020, along with higher prices for education and communication of 0.9% from July to August and 2.6% since August 2020.
The cost of medical care was unchanged from July to August and showed a 0.4% decline from August 2020.
Meanwhile the New York Federal Reserve Bank has released a Survey of Consumer Expectations showing that people expect there to be growing inflation while also expecting incomes to grow and their financial situations to improve.
The survey reaches out to a panel of approximately 1,300 heads of households throughout the U.S. The New York Fed said that perceptions about households’ current financial situations compared with a year ago improved in August, with more respondents reporting being financially better off than they were a year ago. Similarly, year-ahead expectations improved, with fewer households expecting a worse financial situation in the next 12 months.
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