WASHINGTON — After multiple years of a global pandemic, many will be looking forward to celebrating the Memorial Day holiday with cookouts or travel. But doing so will cost more than it has in past years, as inflation has driven prices up for many goods.
On social media, many are posting about how the price increases are impacting their plans, with some considering staying home to avoid the cost.
Let's VERIFY just how much the prices have increased for major goods like food, drink, fuel and airfare.
Has the cost gone up this Memorial Day, compared to the holiday in 2021?
- Jonathan Church, CFA, Economist at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, "12-month percentage change, Consumer Price index"
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, "Average Price Data (In U.S. Dollars)"
- AAA, "Gas Prices"
Yes. The cost of goods such as food, fuel and transportation has gone up significantly in the last year.
WHAT WE KNOW:
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics tracks the changing prices for various goods in the "Consumer Price Index," and has found that various items have seen major increases.
In the time between April 2021 and April 2022, food costs have jumped by 9.4%, according to the Consumer Price Index. "Food at Home" items have jumped by 10.8%, while "Food Away From Home" has increased by 7.2%.
"It really hits home on the kitchen table with grocery store prices," said Jonathan Church, an economist at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "A lot of double-digit increases."
The more detailed breakdown of food price increases from April 2021 to April 2022 is as follows:
- Cereals and Baker Products: 10.3%
- Meats, Poultry, Fish, And Eggs: 14.3%
- Dairy and Related Products: 9.1%
- Fruits and Vegetables: 7.8%
- Nonalcoholic Beverages and Beverage Materials: 9.8%
- Other Food At Home: 11.0%
- Full-Service Meals and Snacks: 8.7%
- Limited Service Meals and Snacks: 7.0%
For those looking to have a few drinks this holiday, that too has seen prices rise. According to the BLS, the cost of alcoholic beverages jumped 3.9% in that one-year period.
Transportation costs are also on the rise. According to the Consumer Price Index, "airline fare" has jumped by a whopping 33.3% in that one-year period.
Similarly, gas prices have been on the rise, which is no surprise for those who have filled up recently. According to AAA, the National Average was $4.60 per gallon, as of May 26, 2022.
Compare that price to May 24, 2021, when AAA released a press release announcing that gas prices had reached $3.03, which was at the time the highest gas price since 2014.
"The big picture is pretty much what everybody already knows," said Church. "It's that we're seeing double-digit inflation in categories that really hit people's wallets."