Where to find inflation
If you rank the 318 different items in the government's inflation report according to how far they've gone up in price since before the pandemic hit, unleaded regular gasoline comes in at the very top of the list, with a price rise of 62%.
Why it matters: Unleaded regular gasoline is the most salient price in the economy, advertised in two-foot-high numbers on every major road in the country. But it's an extreme outlier when it comes to inflation.
- The item with the highest price rise that isn't related to energy or motoring is ... laundry equipment. That's up 37.5% from pre-pandemic levels.
At the other end of the spectrum is a list of items that are now cheaper, in nominal terms, than they were in January 2020. That list includes drugs, public transportation, televisions, airline fares, men's suits, admission to sporting events — and, most importantly, toys.
The bottom line: Buy toys. And take public transportation to pick them up.