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

Published: Jan 12, 2022 3 min read
Woman shopping for meat at the supermarket
Money; Getty Images

Consumer prices rose 7% over the past year — the highest inflation rate in nearly four decades. At the same time, though, certain everyday purchases like gas, pork, steak and tomatoes finally began to get cheaper last month.

New data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that some categories saw particularly large spikes in December compared to a year earlier. Energy prices rose 29%, and prices for used cars and trucks rose 37% over a 12-month span, thanks to pandemic-induced shortages and supply chain snags.

On a monthly basis, prices ticked up 0.5% overall between November and December, a continuation of a long upward trend in 2021, but a smaller gain than the 0.8% spike previous month.

Ads by Money. We may be compensated if you click this ad.AdAds by Money disclaimer
Looking for ways to save money right now?
Work with a licensed Quicken Loans (NMLS #3030) representative in your state today to refinance your mortgage.
HawaiiAlaskaFloridaSouth CarolinaGeorgiaAlabamaNorth CarolinaTennesseeRIRhode IslandCTConnecticutMAMassachusettsMaineNHNew HampshireVTVermontNew YorkNJNew JerseyDEDelawareMDMarylandWest VirginiaOhioMichiganArizonaNevadaUtahColoradoNew MexicoSouth DakotaIowaIndianaIllinoisMinnesotaWisconsinMissouriLouisianaVirginiaDCWashington DCIdahoCaliforniaNorth DakotaWashingtonOregonMontanaWyomingNebraskaKansasOklahomaPennsylvaniaKentuckyMississippiArkansasTexas
View Rates

The BLS said rising prices for shelter (including rent prices and homeowner costs), used cars and trucks, and food were the biggest contributors to the growth in overall prices on a monthly basis. Prices in the shelter category rose 0.4% between November and December, while food prices jumped 0.5%. Prices for new cars nudged up 1% for the month, and used car prices increased a steep 3.5%, after rising 2.5% in each of the two preceding months.

Grocery prices rose 6.5% over the year ending in December, driven by a 12.5% spike in meat, poultry, fish and egg prices. The report noted that the prices in the “food at home” category had previously risen just 1.5% per year for the past decade.

But even as consumer prices in general continue to climb, and are up significantly year over year, some goods are actually — finally — getting cheaper.

Meat prices, which have been soaring for months, fell 0.9% between November and December. Pork products including roasts and ribs saw a decline of 3.3% on the month, while beef steaks were down 2.6%. Some produce prices fell too, including oranges (down 1.1%) and tomatoes (down 4.6%). Prices for white bread fell 0.5% during the month.

The price of gasoline also ticked down by half a percent last month, but that’s not cause for celebration just yet. Gas prices rose again slightly in January and are still up roughly 50% on a yearly basis, the BLS said.

Ads by Money. We may be compensated if you click this ad.AdAds by Money disclaimer
Personal Loans can help you in your time of need
A Personal Loan from Credible can help you mitigate losses and get back on track. Click here to explore your options!
See Rates

More from Money:

How to Save Money on Groceries as Prices Keep Rising

Why It May Be Particularly Hard for You to Save Money This Year

Online Shopping Costs Keep Going up — Especially for These Items

Rates are subject to change. All information provided here is accurate as of the publish date.