Consumer prices are at their highest since 1982.
Prices on consumer-grade purchases have been fluctuating wildly for the entire duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, as supply lines are disrupted, new variants cause further lockdowns, and policy disagreements slow regulation processes. Ultimately, it seems the ones who have to pay this price in the end are, unsurprisingly, the consumers.
According to the latest report of the consumer price index compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, consumer prices rose by 6.8% in November. Not only is that another 0.6% rise over prices in October, that’s the fastest US consumer prices has risen since 1982. Even when taking items that are regularly subject to heavy fluctuation like food and gasoline out of the picture, stable items are still rising by about 0.5%.
Prior to the release of the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ report, US President Joe Biden released a statement attempting to downplay the numbers. “The information being released tomorrow on energy in November does not reflect today’s reality, and it does not reflect the expected price decreases in the weeks and months ahead, such as in the auto market,” Biden said on Thursday.
Breaking News: U.S. inflation hit the highest rate in a generation last month. Consumer prices rose nearly 7%, driven by supply chain woes, demand and housing costs. https://t.co/blqcPdkQIS
— The New York Times (@nytimes) December 10, 2021
If a silver lining were to be found in this situation, it’s that rising prices gives more credence to the argument for raised wages. “In my opinion, the $15 dollar minimum wage argument is out the door, because nobody is paying under $15 any more,” restauranteur Cameron Mitchell told NPR on the subject of inflation. “All of our hourly associates are seeing increased wages, which is a good thing, I think, for our industry.”