US CPI: Inflation Increased 7% In 2021; Highest In 4 Decades

US CPI: Inflation Increased 7% In 2021; Highest In 4 Decades

The United States Consumer Price Index ( CPI), an indicator that measures the fluctuations in prices of a basket of goods and services, increased 7% on a year-over-year basis, the fastest increase since June 1982. On a monthly basis, the index advanced 0.5 per cent in December on a seasonally adjusted basis, after surging 0.8 percent in November, according to the department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics

Economists surveyed by Dow Jones expected the inflation metric to increase 7% annually and 0.4% from November.

It seemed the stock market indices shrugged off the inflation data, as S&P 500, NASDAQ Composite, Dow Jones Industrial Average, Crude Oil and Gold are trading in the green territory. 

All Items excluding– food and energy prices, what we call the core CPI, increased 5.5% over the last year, and 0.6% from November, ahead of analysts expectations of 5.4% and 0.5%. It was the highest yearly increase in core inflation since February 1991.

Percentage Change In CPI:

Inflation In Food Items:

  • The food price index rose 6.3% over the last year. 
  • The food at home index rose 6.5 percent during the same period, compared to the 1.5 percent annual growth over a decade.
  • Food away from home Index increased the largest since 1982, 6.0 percent over the last year.  
  • Food cost went up by 0.5% in December, a steady rise than in the recent months. The spike in the prices of grocery items, mainly fruits and vegetables, added in making a meal costlier.  
  • Prices for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs fell 0.4 in December but rose 12.5 percent over the year.
  • The cost for dairy and related products increased 0.7 in the last calendar month and 1.6 percent over the year. 
  • Food away from home got more expensive over the twelve months, up 6.0 percent, the highest increase since January 1982. 

CPI Energy Index:

  • The energy index fell 0.4 percent in December; for the first time since April 2021. It increased 3.5 percent in November.
  • The gasoline price fell 0.5 percent in December after rising 6.1 percent in November and October. 
  • Natural gas also became cheaper by 1.2 percent in December, after increasing back-to-back over the last ten months.
  • Electricity prices increased 0.3 percent, the same increase as in November.  
  • The energy index increased 29.3 percent over the year, while the gasoline index rose 49.6 percent, natural gas rose 24.1 percent, and the electricity index rose 6.3 percent.

What Else Got Expensive Last Month??

  • Shelter-related expenditure costs increased by 0.4%.
  • Prices for used cars and trucks advanced 3.5 percent in December after increasing 2.5 percent back-to-back in October and November.
  • Buying new vehicles got 1% costlier in December. 
  • Apparels got 1.7% more expensive, a massive increase since January 2021.
  • Airlines fares got 2.7 percent costlier, and education got 0.1 percent more expensive.
  • Prices for hospital service, prescription drugs increased, while the cost for physicians’ services remained unchanged in December.