- Food prices are expected to rise further this year. Packaging, transportation, and other inputs are becoming more expensive for food businesses. Labor is likewise scarce, and employees are demanding more pay.
- Meat prices are particularly high. Meat prices rose 15% in 2021, and Tyson Foods’ CEO noted this week that demand continues to surpass supply.
- Gas prices have risen dramatically in recent months, with a barrel of oil surpassing $90 for the first time since 2014. A barrel cost slightly more than $50 a year ago.
- New automobiles and trucks
- Auto firms may have sold a record number of new automobiles last year — if there wasn’t a massive computer-chip shortfall that stalled manufacturing.
- The scarcity of new vehicles pushed up the price of secondhand automobiles and trucks even further. Last year, they increased by a staggering 37 percent.
- Renting a car was not much less expensive. In 2021, rental costs increased by 36%.
- The chip shortfall is expected to lessen this year, but not sufficiently to cut prices. New and secondhand car sales, as well as vehicle rentals, are likely to hit new milestones.
- Renters experienced the largest increase in 15 years in 2021. Prices have risen due to a scarcity of new and secondhand properties for sale. Economic recovery has followed suit.
- Rents shot up in the second half of 2021, and there’s no sign that they’ll come down anytime soon.
- Because of the high cost, some renters have been pushed to try to buy homes, despite the fact that housing prices are likewise high and mortgage rates are rising.
Goods for consumers
- In 2021, the cost of most consumer goods increased dramatically. The most significant gains were:
- 13.8 percent for furniture
- 9 percent tobacco
- 8% for major appliances
- 5.8% of the population wears clothing.
- 4 percent for televisions
- Is it conceivable that prices will continue to rise at this rate? Most likely not. However, given the persistent chip shortage and the fact that many of these products are manufactured in China, consumers should not expect a significant discount.
- Computer chips are required in most appliances and televisions, for example. For the first time in 41 years, television prices increased in 2021.
- Meanwhile, furniture prices are tied to sky-high lumber prices, and much of the clothing worn by Americans is made abroad.
- The clothing must be delivered to the United States, where ports are clogged and shipping is difficult and expensive.
- Last year, cotton prices surged, and economists anticipate that they will do so again in 2022.
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