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Inflation crisis USA: what products have decreased in price?

Despite inflation hitting a 40-year high in January, several items have actually gotten cheaper over the last year.

Kieran Quaile
Update:
'Shrinkflation' reduces product sizes for consumers
JIM WATSONGetty

The April consumer price index, which measures changes in the cost of food, housing, gasoline, utilities, and other goods, rose by 8.3% over the past 12 months.

Standard household purchases continue to be significantly more expensive than a year ago. The price of food increased 9.4%, the largest 12-month increase since April 1981, according to a report produced by Forbes.

What is causing inflation?

In January, reports suggested that inflation would subside by the end of the year, but prices are on the up due in part to energy costs relating to sanctions against Russia for the war in Ukraine.

The covid-19 pandemic shocked the world economy, disrupting supply chains and contributing to major delays in shipping. Labor shortages and surging consumer demand have added to the problem. With many items in short supply and the cost of shipping going up, prices are increasing.

There has been an increase in the cost of food, fuel and vehicles. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows gasoline alone is up nearly 44%, and energy prices are up 30% over the last year. Used vehicle prices are up nearly 23% for the year, and new vehicle prices have increased 13%.

The Federal Reserve Bank and experts believe inflation is more temporary than long-term. Once the supply chain issues are worked out, “in a lot of cases these prices will actually drop,” says Dean Baker, senior economist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research, an economic policy think tank.

What products are decreasing in price?

Despite inflation hitting a 40-year high in January, several items have actually gotten cheaper over the last year. Prices dropped for more than a dozen goods and services from January 2021 to January 2022, according to government data.

The Consumer Price Index’s recent report has some good news for those in the market for electronics or other things digital. Smartphones fell 16.1% in price overall from a year ago. Apple is, however, expected to raise the price of its iPhone 14 by around $100 over the outgoing model when it goes on sale at the end of the year.

Books and the following items have also dropped in price for customers:

Girls apparel: -4.3%

Ship fare: -2.1%

Cosmetics: -1.7%

Tenants and household insurance: -1.7%

Men’s pants and shorts: -0.8%

Prices of televisions decreasing

The best time to buy TVs tends to be between fall and early winter when holiday sales begin and the release of new models in January happens, says Samantha Gordon, deals editor at Consumer Reports. Consumers enjoyed a break in TV prices over the past 12 months, with costs dropping 5.8 percent.

When will inflation go down?

Inflation became an issue in the spring of 2021 when the US was emerging from strict covid-19 protocols. According to a recent Forbes Advisor-Ipsos Consumer Confidence Biweekly Tracker, 25 per cent of Americans say they’ve spent more than usual on everyday purchases.

President Joe Biden is feeling increased pressure due to inflation in the United States. Biden continues to receive low approval ratings from the public but has implemented plans to try to rein in soaring gas prices by announcing a historic release of oil from the strategic reserves. It remains to be seen how much relief it will bring consumers in the US.

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