Story at a glance

  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the monthly consumer price index on Tuesday.
  • The report showed a 0.6 percent one-month increase.
  • That is the biggest one-month increase in close to a decade.

The latest consumer price index shows prices are on the rise, and they’re only expected to get higher.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the monthly consumer price index on Tuesday, reporting a 0.6 percent increase. That is the biggest one-month increase in almost a decade.

In the last year, prices have increased 2.6 percent overall amid the coronavirus pandemic, stemming from a combination of consumers stockpiling food and items as lockdowns began and subsequent supply chain disruptions.

In January 2020, a pound of bacon cost $4.72 on average but by March 2021 it cost $5.11. Similarly, a loaf of bread rose from $2.44 to $2.66.

"Gotta be the pandemic," John Kermaj, a shopper in Long Island, N.Y., told ABC News. "Shortage."


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Gas prices are also on the rise, surging by 9.1 percent last month. 

The mounting costs are troubling in the face of more than 9 million people who are out of work amid the pandemic.

“Food is a necessity," Jayson Lusk, a Purdue University agricultural economist, said. "Lower-income households spend a larger share of their income on food. When we see food prices increase, it affects lower-income households more."

Jared Bernstein and Ernie Tedeschi, of President Biden's Council of Economic Advisers, suggested at this time, three nonpermanent elements are propelling the price increases: the increases in rates are rising from a lower level, making them appear to be rising faster; supply chain disruptions; and a heightened demand for services.

In a White House blog post, they wrote, "We think the likeliest outlook over the next several months is for inflation to rise modestly ... and to fade back to a lower pace thereafter as actual inflation begins to run more in line with longer-run expectations."


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Published on Apr 16, 2021