Inflation Nation? What the Information Reveals About Right now’s Costs


There was a number of discuss these days about inflation, so it appeared like an important subject for a weblog submit. In an effort to get began, we went again to our good pals on the Bureau of Labor Statistics, who publish detailed knowledge concerning the Shopper Worth Index (CPI), which lets us take a look at costs throughout completely different classes, geographies, and time intervals.

I really began exploring this knowledge in Domo final week, earlier than January 2022 outcomes have been launched. Then, whereas I used to be finalizing a few of these views (instantly under), the January outcomes confirmed up. (A part of what I like about Domo is that I can rapidly construct an automatic knowledge pipeline all by myself.)

For this evaluation, we take a look at the CPI index for a given interval in comparison with the identical interval final 12 months. Trying by month again to 2017, we will see that costs have been going up because the second quarter of 2021, with a excessive enhance of seven.5% in January 2022. The information goes all the way in which again to 1998, so if you wish to discover earlier a long time even, you possibly can. You can even choose particular classes of products and see how they’ve modified:

Persevering with to interrupt aside January 2022 CPI numbers (defaulted under, however you should utilize the filter drop-downs to alter to different months or intervals), the most important will increase are coming from Motor Gas and Gas Oils, that are each up over 30% since final 12 months. You’ll be able to choose one of many Prime Classes to filter for the detailed classes in that bucket of CPI.

Curiously, the areas with the most important drops since final 12 months—which you’ll be able to see on the element degree—are Meals at Elementary Faculties and Meals at Workplaces, which isn’t all that stunning given the current COVID-19 surge and extra professionals and college students nonetheless at residence:

As you discover this knowledge, be aware there are some geographic areas that should not have CPI knowledge for all classes on a month-to-month degree. The chart under seems to be on the CPI change for the annual common for 2021, which for All Gadgets elevated 4.7%. Automobile and truck leases final 12 months have been up nearly 50%.

On the Annual Common degree, there’s extra detailed geographic knowledge. So, for instance, I can see that in my residence metro of Minneapolis-St. Paul, CPI was up 4.8%, with the most important enhance for Gasoline at 40%:

Lastly, we will look extra particularly on the geographic breakdown of CPI change for 2021. And after we do, we see that the Atlanta metro space noticed the very best CPI enhance at 6.1%, whereas San Francisco noticed the bottom (3.2%):

There’s much more to unpack right here, however a minimum of the information will proceed to replace and you’ll come again to this web page and filter for future months to see how inflation is altering. Whereas it’s attention-grabbing to look at all these numbers, they do have an effect on individuals’s lives, and I all the time attempt to do not forget that as I discover.


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