Americans hit with more tough economic news

Americans hit with more tough economic news

Americans hit with more tough economic news

WASHINGTON — Despite efforts by the Biden re-election campaign to paint a rosy picture of the country's economy, new figures show American consumers continue to be hit with rising prices for basic needs such as gasoline and froceries.

The Labor Department reported Wednesday that the consumer price index rose 3.7% in August from a year ago, up from a 3.2% pace in July.

The big rise in gas prices accounted for more than half of the monthly inflation increase, the government said.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices jumped 0.6% in August, the biggest increase in more than a year. Gas prices spiked nearly 11%, though they have since leveled off: According to AAA, the average nationwide price at the pump was $3.85 on Wednesday, unchanged from a month ago.

Energy costs rose 5.6% just in August, the biggest monthly increase since June 2022. Auto insurance prices also soared, rising 2.4% last month and 19.1% compared with a year ago. The sharp increase in new car prices in the past two years has also made them more expensive to insure and repair.

Grocery prices moved up 0.2%, a trend that has strained many household's finances. But food cost increases are cooling: They rose 3% compared with a year ago, down from double-digit increases last year.

Prices increase are slowing yet, as any American can attest, food, rent, automobiles, appliances, all cost considerably more than they did two years ago.

While filling up her car with gas Tuesday night in Falls Church, Virginia, Francesca, who declined to give her last name, said she still notices how much higher her grocery bill has gotten.

“We’re not buying crazy things, like caviar, just the basics,” she said, referring to her weekly food shopping. “And it’s like $150,” compared to a tab of closer to $100 before the pandemic.