Many companies featured on Money advertise with us. Opinions are our own, but compensation and
in-depth research determine where and how companies may appear. Learn more about how we make money.

Man grocery shopping
Getty Images

Inflation is still sky-high, and everyday essentials like groceries, paper products and utilities are seeing their largest yearly price increases in decades. Rent and health insurance costs are soaring too.

New data released Tuesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that consumer prices rose 8.3% year-over-year in August. That’s a slight improvement over July’s 8.5% annual inflation rate, but it’s still extremely elevated by historical standards. Many experts expected price growth to have slowed down in August, but instead prices rose 0.1% from July.

High inflation is persisting despite the Federal Reserve’s attempts to slow it down by raising interest rates, and the stock market plunged Tuesday morning on renewed fears of an impending recession. The S&P 500, an index often used as a proxy for the stock market overall, was down 3% early in the day.

Ads by Money. We may be compensated if you click this ad.AdAds by Money disclaimer
Looking for ways to save money right now?
Refinancing your mortgage at a competitive rate could allow you to lower your monthly mortgage payment. Click your state to get started and see how much you could save!
HawaiiAlaskaFloridaSouth CarolinaGeorgiaAlabamaNorth CarolinaTennesseeRIRhode IslandCTConnecticutMAMassachusettsMaineNHNew HampshireVTVermontNew YorkNJNew JerseyDEDelawareMDMarylandWest VirginiaOhioMichiganArizonaNevadaUtahColoradoNew MexicoSouth DakotaIowaIndianaIllinoisMinnesotaWisconsinMissouriLouisianaVirginiaDCWashington DCIdahoCaliforniaNorth DakotaWashingtonOregonMontanaWyomingNebraskaKansasOklahomaPennsylvaniaKentuckyMississippiArkansasTexas
View Rates

Inflation pushes prices higher and higher

While Tuesday’s headline number of 8.3% is already large, some consumer staples have seen even more dramatic spikes.

Grocery prices were up 13.5% on a yearly basis in August, according to the BLS — that’s the highest annual jump since 1979. The grocery category includes rapidly rising prices for essentials like flour, which spiked 23% on an annual basis, the largest jump ever in that category. Dairy prices spiked 16.2%, the biggest annual increase since 1974.

Prices for household paper products like paper towels and toilet paper, rose 14.1% year-over-year, also the largest ever increase. Electricity prices were up nearly 16%, which is the largest annual increase since 1981.

Meanwhile, health insurance prices rose 24.3% — the biggest annual increase ever in that category. Rent prices are up 6.7%, the biggest spike since 1986.

Thankfully, Tuesday’s report also brought some good news. While used car prices are still up nearly 8% on an annual basis, they actually dropped 0.1% between July and August. Gas prices fell more than 10% on a monthly basis after soaring earlier this year.

Ads by Money. We may be compensated if you click this ad.AdAds by Money disclaimer
Personal Loans can get you back on track
Applying for a Personal Loan can put you on a path to better financial health. Get all the details now by clicking below.
Get Started

More from Money:

New Car Prices Are Higher Than Ever, but There's a Bright Side if You Need to Buy

Economists Confirm It's Actually OK to Not Save Money in Your 20s

Average Home Equity in the U.S. Just Hit a Record High of $300,000