The cost of buying groceries has risen almost 20% since President Joe Biden took office in January 2021, while real wages continue to drop, according to the latest consumer price index report issued Wednesday.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Wednesday that the consumer price index for all urban consumers rose 0.6% in August after increasing 0.2% in July, while real hourly earnings for all employees dropped a net of 0.5% from July to August due to the increasing consumer prices, the agency said.
According to the agency, real hourly earnings increased 0.2% during the month, but the 0.6% in rising consumer costs erased the gain and sent earnings into the red.
August's 0.3% increase in grocery prices adds up to a total increase of 19.97% in the cost of food since Biden took control of the Oval Office, and an overall consumer price index increase of 19.3% of all items during the period, according to the agency's data.
The largest increase of all consumer price index items comes from gasoline, which saw an increase of 10.5% in August, with an increase of 9.1% in fuel oil, according to the report.
The report's food at home index, seasonally unadjusted, rose 3.0% during the past year, impacting the cost of groceries for families.
Eating outside of home prices were double that rate over the year, increasing 6.5%, according to the report.
The agency said the six major store food group indexes split during August with three increasing and three decreasing, which include 0.8% in rising prices for meat, poultry, and fish and eggs and 0.4% in decreasing prices for dairy along with a 0.2% decline in fruits and vegetables.
The index measures the change in prices paid by consumers for goods and services and measures the spending patterns of two groups consisting of all urban consumers and urban wage earners and clerical workers, the agency said.
These groups, which represent an estimated 93% of the population, include professionals, self-employed individuals, the poor, and unemployed, as well as retirees.
The consumer price does not include the spending patterns of people living in nonurban, rural areas, farm families, military personnel, and individuals who are incarcerated in prisons or mental institutions.
The indexes include prices for food, shelter, clothing, fuels, transportation, doctors and dentists, drugs, and other items used for daily living.
The prices are collected each month in 75 urban areas throughout the country from an estimated 6,000 housing units and 22,000 retail locations and include taxes, according to the agency.
Charles Kim ✉
Charles Kim, a Newsmax general assignment writer, is an award-winning journalist with more than 30 years in reporting on news and politics.
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