The federal government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics released new price inflation data today, and according to the report, price inflation during the month decelerated slightly, coming in at the lowest year-over-year increase in 12 months. According to the BLS, Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation rose 7.1 percent year over year during November, before seasonal adjustment. That’s the twenty-first month in a row of inflation above the Fed’s arbitrary 2 percent inflation target, and it’s twelve months in a row of price inflation above 7 percent.
Month-over-month inflation rose as well, with the CPI rising 0.1 percent from October to November. Month-over-month growth in price inflation has been positive in 29 of the last 30 months.
November’s growth rate is down from June’s high of 9.1 percent, which was the highest price inflation rate since 1981. But November’s growth rate still keeps price inflation well above growth rates seen in any month during the 1990s, 2000s, or 2010s. November’s increase was the eleventh-largest increase in forty years.
The ongoing price increases largely reflect price growth in food, energy, transportation, and especially shelter. In other words, the prices of essentials all saw big increases in November over the previous year.
For example, “food at home”—i.e., grocery bills—was up 12.0 percent in November over the previous year. Gasoline continued to be up, rising 10.1 percent year over year, while new vehicles were up 7.2 percent. The only category that showed a year-over year decrease was used cars, which declined by 3.3 percent. This hardly puts used car prices on a path to 2019 prices, however. Used car growth reached 70-year highs throughout much of 2021 increasing year-over-year by over 20 percent or more in every month from April 2021 to April 2022.