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: Dec 10, 2021 3 min read
A woman picks groceries from a supermarket aisle
Getty Images

If you've bought a gallon of milk at the grocery store, filled up your gas tank or browsed through the sale racks at the mall over the last few weeks, you've encountered the highest inflation rate the U.S. has seen in decades.

The Consumer Price Index, which tracks the cost of thousands of goods and services for sale in the U.S. and is used as a common measure of inflation, rose 6.8% year-over-year in November, according to data released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). That’s the fastest prices have risen since 1982.

The rise comes amid a global supply chain crisis and surging consumer demand for goods — underpinned by an ongoing labor shortage across industries. Retailers are facing higher shipping and storage costs, higher materials costs and higher labor costs, all of which is getting passed on to the consumer.

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 Rocket Mortgage (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

On a monthly basis, prices ticked up 0.8% in November — a rise the BLS largely attributes to an increase in gas, housing and car prices.

Gasoline prices alone have risen a hair-raising 58.1% on a yearly basis, the BLS said, and 6.1% over the last month alone (though government forecasters expect them to fall in the coming year). Housing prices are up 3.8% on the year. Prices for new cars have spiked 11.1% since last November, while prices for used cars and trucks are up 31.4% year-over-year.

Grocery prices are up 6.4% over last year, which is the largest spike in that category since 2008, and clothing prices are up 5%.

Rising inflation means that money doesn’t stretch as far as it used to. So if you’re up for a raise at work this year, any pay bump less than about 5% means that your earnings are not keeping up with prices.

Ads by Money. We may be compensated if you click this ad.AdAds by Money disclaimer
Make your savings grow with a High-Yield Savings Account
High-Yield Savings Accounts allow you to increase your savings faster by offering higher-than-average interest rates. Open your account with Discover today — it's as easy as clicking below.
Open an Account Today

More from Money:

Online Shopping Costs Keep Going up — Especially for These Items

Why Workers Should Expect Their Biggest Pay Raises in Over a Decade

Why You Should Give an Extra Big Holiday Tip to Your Dog Walker and Babysitter This Year