Pumping gasoline.  High Prices High cost of gasoline due to inflation.

Inflation Slows but Continues To Bust Consumers’ Budgets

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Pumping gasoline.  High Prices High cost of gasoline due to inflation.

No Relief in Sight

After hitting 40-year highs, with prices through the roof everywhere from the grocery store to the gas pump, inflation crept up just 0.1% last month compared to July. But the consumer price index still rose 8.3% in August compared to a year ago, according to the Labor Department. The latest numbers break down the price increases in painful detail, and we've combed through them to find some of the most sobering.

Related: Steps to Take to Outsmart Inflation, According to Experts

Row of pre-owned cars for sale

Used Cars: 7.8%

So many buyers turned to used cars recently that some models became more expensive than new cars amid the demand. The good news is that year-over-year price inflation is way down over the past few months, from 22.7% in April.

Related: 11 Affordable Used Cars Most Buyers Overlook

Female staff at McDonald's deliver food to customers through the door of the car at the pick up point in Bangkok, Thailand

Dining Out: 8%

If you’re seeking relief from the high cost of groceries by eating out, we understand. Unfortunately, you’re not getting much of it. While the overall cost of food at home is up 13.5%, the cost of food away from home is up 8% compared with last year. Full-service meals are up 9%, while fast food isn't much better: Limited-service meals are up 7.2%.

Related: The Best Value Meal Deals at Chains Across the Country

Navel Oranges in a Wooden Crate
Brycia James/istockphoto

Citrus Fruits: 8.6%

Sorry, orange lovers. Florida’s crop is the worst in some 75 years, largely thanks to disease, and international growers have battled bad weather. The news isn't much better for other fresh fruit either. The whole category is up 8.3% over last year.

Buying meat at a supermarket.

Meat, Poultry, and Fish: 8.8%

Unless you’re vegetarian, many meals are going to cost a lot more, driven by the (much) higher price of meat. Ground beef is up 7.8%, pork is up 6.8% (with breakfast sausage up a whopping 14.4%), and even lunchmeats are up 18.2%. Prefer poultry or seafood? You’ll pay 15.9% and 8.7% more than last year, respectively.

Dealer New Cars Stock

New Cars and Trucks: 10.1%

Need new wheels? Prepare for sticker shock. The chip shortage has hit car dealers hard, driving up prices and making it all that much harder to negotiate. Sadly, paying sticker price these days may even be a “good deal,” experts say.

Scanning parcel barcode before shipment

Delivery Services: 11.5%

If sending something across the country has given you sticker shock lately, you're in good company. Fuel and inflation surcharges are the name of the game, and even Amazon has started charging third-party sellers a new fee that is likely to trickle down.

Yard Work Tool In a Shed
A. Hart/istockphoto

Tools and Outdoor Equipment: 11.7%

The leaves are going to start falling soon, and if you're looking for new yard equipment to tidy up before winter, we’ve got bad news: Getting handy may cost you this year, and higher demand this time of year doesn't do prices any favors.

Couple and sofa

Furniture and Bedding: 12.8%

Whether you want to spruce up the living room or outfit your bed in some crisp new sheets, it will cost you big time. And thanks to supply-chain disruptions in just about every corner of the business, you might not get any furniture orders until long after you’ve placed them. (We especially hope you don't need new rugs — the price of floor coverings is up 14.8%.)

New winter tires for sale in store

Car Parts and Equipment: 13.4%

Car prices are insane right now, so fixing and maintaining what you have is a smart move. Still, it's also much costlier than last year. One particular pain point: fluids including oil and coolant, which are up 13.8% from 2021. The price of tires is up 13.7%. Meanwhile, the cost of bodywork is up 11.5%.

shelves of refrigerated milk in store

Milk: 17%

This breakfast-table staple continues to creep up in price, and that's unlikely to change a whole lot: The Department of Agriculture forecast a drop in production from ripple effects in the agricultural markets thanks to the Russia-Ukraine conflict. 

Refreshing hot cup of coffee at a cafe

Coffee: 17.6%

High demand, bad weather, and supply-chain issues have all conspired to make your morning pick-me-up much pricier these days. Roasted coffee is up 18.7%, while the instant stuff costs 13% more. And no, there’s no relief in grabbing a cup to go — Starbucks, for instance, has increased prices three times since last fall.

Rolled butter

Fats and Oils: 21.5%

Who can blame us for heaping on the butter or salad dressing in a time of crisis? And the prices of these staples are up big time. Margarine, in particular, is up a whopping 38.3%.

Utility Meter Readers

Energy: 23.8%

Looking at utility bills is never fun, but it has been even less so this year. The cost of electricity is up 15.8%, and that’s the very least of it. Natural gas costs 33% more than last year; propane, kerosene, and firewood cost 18.8% more; and fuel oil is a painful 69.8% more.

African American woman at gas pump wearing mask

Gasoline: 25.6%

After months of record-high gas prices, U.S. drivers are finally seeing some relief. Still, experts have warned that $4 gas could be a reality for awhile thanks to several factors, including fewer refineries, and the Russia-Ukraine conflict is further clouding the picture.

Travelers in a train station during pandemic Covid 19

Airfare: 33.4%

The massive price inflation on plane tickets has eased a bit since last mont, but the cost of a flight is still soaring. And high fuel prices mean we're unlikely to see major price drops anytime soon.

Still life image of brown and white eggs in cardboard egg cartons

Eggs: 39.8%

Eggs are among the most notable grocery-store pain points, with already high prices shooting up even more in the past few months following a severe outbreak of bird flu.