Jun 15, 2022 - Economy

Where prices are falling despite inflation

Illustration of a retail shopping bag full of market trend arrows.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Inflation is at a 40-year high, but a few things are actually getting cheaper.

Why it matters: We're here with actual good news. Yes, you read our opener right. Some prices have stayed the same — and others have actually gotten cheaper over the past year.

Some respites from sticker shock:

  1. Ballgames: Ticket prices for sporting events are down 11% year over year, according to the Consumer Price Index.
  2. Tech upgrades: Smartphones are 20% cheaper. TVs are 10% cheaper. For the student in your life: Calculators are 13% cheaper.
  3. Beach reads: The price of books has stayed the same despite supply chain woes and inflation. As we've reported, one of the silver linings of the pandemic has been an increase in recreational reading. Join other Americans in reviving reading for pleasure this summer.
  4. Something shiny: Jewelry is ever so slightly cheaper now than it was last year — 1.2%.
  5. Free lunch: Food at elementary and secondary schools is a whopping 43% cheaper, as many districts have stepped up to feed kids in need for free while we navigate COVID.
  6. Clothing spree: If you feel like a trip to the mall, a number of items are either the same price or cheaper compared to last year. Check out women's swimwear, men's shorts and infant apparel.

🛒 Between the lines: Some of these goods are cheaper because people are sticking to necessities — but stores had already stocked up as the supply chain recovered.

👀 A trend to watch: Soaring lumber prices are finally falling in the U.S. That could soon make it cheaper to build and buy new houses.

💡 Cheapest of all: Hanging out on your own back porch.

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