KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The cost of everything is quickly rising. Consumer prices skyrocketed last month to its highest level in 13 years.
The cost of wood is up 131% from this time last year; gas prices are up 50% year-to-year; over the past month, airline prices, used car prices and sports tickets have gone up by 10%; while food prices and car insurance are up around 3%.
In April, the cost of food increased more in one month than it has since 1982. Buying groceries, going out to eat, filling up with gas: it’s all a lot more expensive than it was this time last year.
Why is everything costing so much more? There are many reasons why we are suddenly shelling out the cash.
Economists say the economy is rebalancing after a year of staying stagnate. During the pandemic, many businesses suffered. People weren’t spending money, so companies closed or lowered prices to survive.
Now that people are getting out and have federal stimulus money to spend, businesses are raising prices to make up for those losses.
Trucking companies are struggling to hire drivers and gas prices are up, so the cost of getting goods to businesses is higher. That is why stores are raising prices – to cover the higher costs.
Also, many industries are struggling to find workers, so they are paying higher wages and raising prices to cover the higher costs.
The car industry is really seeing a surge in higher prices. Production on new cars stopped during part of the pandemic, and now it has stopped again due to a semiconductor chip shortage. With fewer new cars available, many are buying used, and the increase in demand is causing used car prices to surge 10% in just the past month – its biggest price increase ever.
Many economists believe the prices of most goods will level off by the end of the year. But in the short term, be prepared to pay more for everything.