MILWAUKEE - If you feel like you have less money in your wallet, you're not imagining it – prices are up an average of 7.5% on things like groceries, gas, rent and cars.
Mahly's Deli in Milwaukee just opened six months ago. Already, the menu prices are changing.
"Because we’re so new, the customers are probably going to question ‘Why?’ –because even now they question the menu," said Mahly's Deli co-owner Joseph Hazelwood Jr. "We have conversation about that right now, and my question is normally: Have you been to the grocery lately now? It's different."
The just-released consumer price index (CPI) shows meat, poultry, fish and eggs are up 12% over last year. The Philly cheesesteak platter at Mahly's Deli costs $17.50 right now, but when the new menu is printed, it will be roughly $19.50.
"It’s very, very challenging because you have no choice but to pass along the price," Hazelwood said.
Used car prices are up more than 40%, something Joe Reina with Reina International Auto hasn't seen in his 42 years in business.
"This is not a normal situation," said Reina.
In fact, he recently bought a car as a trade-in that he sold a year ago.
"This particular car was close to about $31,000, and basically we gave them close to what they paid for it, again a year later with 12-15 thousand miles more."
Pay rose in 2021 roughly 5%, so if you made $20 that became $21. But with the rising costs, something that used to cost $20 now costs more than that raise – $21.50.
"We’ve got a lot of demand because we had a lot of stimulus, the economy didn’t slow down as far as we thought or for as long as thought, so people had, with the stimulus checks, people had the wherewithal to buy things," Marquette University Economics Professor Jim McGibany said.
At the same time, McGibany said supply was down due to various issues, including closures caused by COVID-19.
"So you had demand going up, supply going down and that’s a big cause of inflation."
Now, it is the reason you are paying more at the register.
All CPI numbers compare January 2022 figures with January 2021 figures. Take a look at how much average prices are up compared with last year, according to the consumer price index:
- All items: 7.5%
- Food at home: 7.4%
- Cereals and bakery products: 6.8%
- Meats, poultry, fish and egg: 12.2%
- Dairy and related products: 3.1%
- Fruits/vegetables: 5.6%
- Food away from home: 6.4%
- Fuel oil: 46.5%
- Gasoline: 40%
- Electricity: 10.7%
- Natural gas: 23.9%
- Apparel: 5.3%
- New vehicles: 12.2%
- Used cars and trucks: 40.5%
- Medical care commodities: 1.4%
- Alcoholic beverages: 2.7%
- Tobacco/smoking products: 7%
- Shelter: 4.4%
- Medical Care services: 2.7%
- Car repair: 4.8%
- Car insurance: 4.1%
- Airline fare: 4.9%