• 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.

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.

What is the World Economic Forum doing on trade facilitation?

The Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation is a collaboration of international organisations, governments and businesses led by the Center for International Private Enterprise, the International Chamber of Commerce and the World Economic Forum, in cooperation with Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit.

It aims to help governments in developing and least developed countries implement the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement by bringing together governments and businesses to identify opportunities to address delays and unnecessary red-tape at borders.

For example, in Colombia, the Alliance worked with the National Food and Drug Surveillance Institute and business to introduce a risk management system that can facilitate trade while protecting public health, cutting the average rate of physical inspections of food and beverages by 30% and delivering $8.8 million in savings for importers in the first 18 months of operation.

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