Show Me the Money: Rising consumer prices

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New numbers show inflation rising at the fastest pace in 13 years. The bottom line — your dollar today doesn’t stretch as far as it did one month ago.

As the pandemic recovery picks up steam, consumer prices rose 0.9% last month and are up 5.4% from a year ago. That’s the largest increase since 2008 during the great recession.

Let’s take a closer look at what these numbers mean. If you’re trying to purchase a used car or truck, those prices are up 10.5% in June from just a month ago. That’s the largest such monthly increase on record.

Hotels are up 7.9%, airline fares up 2.7%, beef prices up 4.5%, poultry, fish and eggs up 2.5% and restaurant prices in general are up.

Many Americans upgraded their homes during the pandemic, raising prices on things like household furniture, carpet, and tiles.

Those price hikes are across the board and that’s taking away some of the optimism we’ve seen from jobs this summer where bonuses have become more common. Wage hikes are also taking shape as employers look to attract new people to the jobs market.

But that doesn’t mean much when you see prices are so much higher now too.

The big question — how long will this last? Will we continue to see prices climb or will prices moderate in the next couple of months?

As things return to normal and the economy fully reopens, the White House and the Federal Reserve maintain this will be a temporary increase in prices. But other top economists believe it will have more lasting consequences.

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