Inflation Soars Past 8%: Items With the Biggest Price Increases

Upset woman in her car
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Inflation continues to spike as it has since the start of the year.

Overall inflation increased by a red-hot 8.5% between March 2021 and this March, based on the federal government’s latest Consumer Price Index. Inflation increased 1.2% between February and March.

While the Federal Reserve has begun taking action to slow inflation, there is no question that prices are climbing. And for some goods and services, they are soaring.

Following is a look at items whose rising prices are causing headaches for millions of Americans. All have seen price increases of more than 18% over the past 12 months — more than double the overall inflation rate during the same period.

Each price rise indicates the change from March 2021 to March 2022.

7. Window coverings

Smart blinds
New Africa / Shutterstock.com

Price increase: 18.4%

Window coverings such as blinds just saw their highest year-over-year spike on record, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

While this might seem like a strange or unexpected category to see prices rising sharply, MarketWatch reported last year that window coverings are part of ongoing supply chain woes related to paper products.

6. Certain groceries

Bacon
farbled / Shutterstock.com

We’ve probably all noticed the higher prices at the grocery store — they have increased by 10% overall over the past year.

But some foods are seeing bigger price spikes than others, including three in excess of 18%:

  • Bacon and related products: 18.2%
  • Citrus fruits: 19.5%
  • Uncooked other beef and veal (excludes roasts, steaks and ground beef): 20.4%

5. Natural gas service

Natural gas
Vova Shevchuk / Shutterstock.com

Price increase: 21.6%

The cost of this fossil fuel has continued to surge, making even the process of cooking more expensive for some people. The good news is that the 21.6% year-over-year rise recorded in March was the smallest 12-month increase for this service since September.

4. Certain travel services

Man opening drapes
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As the pandemic slowly recedes, more people are hitting the gas pedal on long-delayed travel plans. Unfortunately, prices continue to take off, too, especially for these services:

  • Car and truck rentals: 23.4%
  • Airline fares: 23.6%
  • Hotels and motels: 29%

To learn more about cutting travel costs, check out:

3. Used cars and trucks

Woman frowning in her car
AleksandarMilutinovic / Shutterstock.com

Price increase: 35.3%

This is one category where bad news is not horrible news. Yes, prices for used cars and trucks are much higher than they were one year ago. But the 35.3% year-over-year rise recorded in March was the smallest 12-month increase for used vehicles since November.

If you can wait to shop for a car, you probably should. But if you need something now, check out “8 Tips for Buying Your Next Car for Less.”

2. Motor fuel

Sad man at gas pump
Vera Petrunina / Shutterstock.com

Price increase: 48.2%

This category includes four types of motor fuel, all of which have seen price increases in excess of 40%:

  • Unleaded regular gasoline: 48.8%
  • Unleaded midgrade gasoline: 45.7%
  • Unleaded premium gasoline: 42.4%
  • Other motor fuels: 56.5% (which is the largest 12-month increase for this line item since 2008)

Ready for a bicycle ride, anyone?

For tips on making a tank of gas last longer, read, “8 Bad Driving Habits That Cost You at the Pump.”

1. Fuel oil and other fuels

Propane grill
Arina P Habich / Shutterstock.com

Price increase: 51.7%

As with natural gas, fuel oil and other non-motor fuels heat up our homes.

Fuel oil itself is up an eye-popping 70.1% over the past year — its largest 12-month increase since 2008. The other line item in this category — propane, kerosene and firewood collectively — is up 24.4%. But the silver lining is that warmer weather is coming.

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