Inflation and supply chain snags have sent prices for everyday items soaring, from Tide laundry detergent to new cars. Here’s what we found got more expensive in the U.S. these past few weeks and what may be next:
A combination of short supply and high demand has sent orange prices soaring. Frozen orange juice futures have risen by 50% over the course of the pandemic, reaching a two-year high Thursday. Citrus disease and bad weather are constraining orange cropsin the U.S. and globally. And then there’s just plain bad timing, as demand for orange juice had been dipping for the past few years, but experienceda spike during the pandemic — US sales of 100% non-concentrated juices jumped from $5 billion in 2019 to $5.5 billion in 2020 and stayed mostly at that level through 2021.
The median home sales price was $346,900 in 2021, up 16.9% from 2020. That’s the highest increaseon record since 1999, according to the National Association of Realtors.
The housing market frenzy was a boon for the typical homeowner, who accumulated $50,200 in housing wealth, looking at the median price jump from 2020 to 2021.
The inventory of unsold existing homes fell to a record low of 910,000 at the end of December, down 18% from November.
Proctor & Gamble announced this week it’s raising prices by an average of about 8% on retail customers next month for its Tide and Gain laundry detergents, Downy fabric softener and Bounce dryer sheets.
The company attributed the price increase to cost pressures, including transportation, labor and the commodities it uses to manufacture its products. The US producer price index, a gauge for prices manufacturers are paying, rose 9.7% last year.
Since Monday, the national average for a gallon of regular gasoline increased by a penny to $3.32 Thursday, according to AAA. On Friday it reached an average of $3.326.
Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota and Oklahoma have seen the biggest increases, of 5 cents and more. Prices in Washington D.C. have also jumped 5 cents since last Thursday.
Edmunds, a car shopping website, said the average price for a new car was $46,426 in December 2021, up14% from the year prior. A computer chip shortage limited production of new vehicles, leading to inventory too lowto meet demand.
The record high prices could be coming down, but they won’t reachpre-pandemic levels.
As inventories are projected to build again, experts say there should be less pressure on prices.
J.D. Power forecasts that the average wholesale price of used cars should fall about 9% from the fourth quarter of 2021 to the fourth quarter of this year, and that prices should continue to decline in 2023. But they’re unlikely to get to pre-pandemic levels.
Used car prices also increased almost 40% in December 2021 from the year prior, a new analysis by the Anderson Economic Group found.