After seeing this article and graphic on the rising cost of food in The New York Times week in review, I was curious about how prices for other stuff has changed in the past year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides this data monthly via Consumer Price Index (CPI).
Why they have to provide it in an equal-spaced text file over a plain CSV or a spreadsheet still confuses me, but at least they publish the data regularly, which is more than I can say for other government departments. I originally wanted to see how obesity rates have changed over the past year, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) hasn’t updated obesity trend data since 2009.
In any case, price changes alone are still interesting. Relative to overall inflation (2.7 percent), transportation prices increased the most by far, at plus 9.8 percent. The cost of gasoline alone went up 27.5 percent.
Education also took a hit, going up 4.0 percent. Meanwhile, the cost of apparel and technology went down this past year by 0.6 and 1.4 percent, respectively. Having a baby? Now might be good time to buy some onesies.