Health and Healthcare Systems

Apples, beef and cars: This is how inflation is impacting prices in the U.S.

A store is selling various kinds of meat.

A store is selling various kinds of meat, which will be significantly more expensive in the US than pre-pandemic. Image: Kyle Mackie/Unsplash

Katharina Buchholz
Data Journalist, Statista
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United States

  • In the past year, the consumer price index has increased, causing a significant rise in the prices of many popular items in the US.
  • Cars and trucks, meat and lodging have increased in price the most, all increasing by over 15%.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic is largely to blame for this inflation as it has impacted global supply chains.

Americans who want to buy a used truck or fry up some bacon and eggs for breakfast have to shell out significantly more for those items than a year ago. Increases in the consumer price index have made all sorts of goods more expensive as the long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are still bearing down on global supply chains. Recent U.S. inflation levels have been well above those in other industrialized nations, for example in Europe.

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While the price of used cars and trucks rose by almost a quarter between September 2020 and September 2021, the price increase for beef steaks and bacon was around 20 percent. Lodging away from home was hit with a 17.5 percent price increase.

Meat was one of the food items most affected by inflation, becoming on the whole more than 10 percent more expensive over the course of a year. Eggs’ price increase even exceeded 12 percent, while fruits and veg rose by 3 percent, fats by 7 percent and eating out by almost 5 percent.

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Food and energy are considered the most volatile items in the CPI – mineral oil products especially experienced huge price swings in the course of the coronavirus pandemic. Yet, even when subtracting the two items, an annual increase of 4 percent still remains out of the overall CPI increase of 5.4 percent.

Year-over-year change in the price of selected items on the Consumer Price Index (Sept 2020-Sept 2021)
US inflation causes an increase in price of popular items. Image: Bureau of Labor Statistics
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Health and Healthcare SystemsEconomic Growth
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