SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Over the past year, the consumer price index (CPI) has risen 8.5%, according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Labor.
This is the fastest rate of inflation since 1981, according to the report.
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“It’s a continuing trend from what we’ve seen over the past few months. Prices are rising at a faster rate than we’ve seen in the last 30 to 40 years, and there doesn’t appear to be an immediate or short-term end to this trend,” said Justin Rietz, assistant professor of Economics at San Jose State University. “We are seeing a general increase in prices. There are very few areas where people won’t feel it in their wallet. »
A place where everyone experiences the phenomenon: the grocery store. Food prices over the past 12 months have risen 8.8%, according to the CPI.
“I can’t believe how much everything has gone up, it’s ridiculous,” said Anita Martin, who lives in San Bruno. “It’s really tough when you’re trying to feed a family and you’re on a budget.”
Christin Mullen, who lives in San Mateo, says she’s noticed her grocery bill rising steadily over the past few months.
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“Everything seems to be more expensive,” she said.
Here are some examples of how the prices of certain foods have increased over the past year, according to the CPI:
• Fruits and vegetables: 8.5%
• Coffee: 11.2%
• Milk: 13.3%
• Meat, poultry, fish, eggs: 13.7%
• Butter and margarine: 14%
• Bacon and related products: 18.2%
“Before, I ate steak all the time. I have a family of five. To buy everybody a steak is expensive, so we choose to eat other things, like chicken or something cheaper,” said Burlingame resident Tom Condon.
While all consumers experience inflation, Rietz says it will have a bigger impact on a few groups of people.
“It affects low-income households more. They are going to feel this blow. People on fixed incomes are going to feel this because their salaries aren’t going up with the rate of inflation,” Rietz said. “The Federal Reserve is taking new steps to try to bring inflation down. They are targeting a higher interest rate. So it looks like the Fed will be increasing that interest rate target more in the near future, so I hope this will bring inflation down. They are also taking steps to reduce the money circulating in the economy, so we expect this to have some impact. Unfortunately, we know that monetary policy operates with long and variable lags. So it’s hard to say when exactly these policies will go into effect. And not only that, but we also don’t know how effective these policies will be. They could actually have a negative impact. If the Federal Reserve brakes too hard, it could actually push the economy into a recession.
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