May 29, 2024 - Technology

Why groceries feel so expensive

The line chart shows the change in the Consumer Price Index for food at home from January 2021 to April 2024. Year-over-year change peaked in August 2022 at 13.6%, followed by a gradual decline to +1.1% in April 2024. The cumulative change since January 2021 is +20.8%.
Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals

The inflation rate for "food at home" — basically the stuff you buy at the supermarket — is really low these days, with prices rising just 1.1% over the last year.

  • But since January 2021, when President Biden took office, prices are up nearly 21%.

Why it matters: Every time Americans go food shopping, they feel the sting of higher prices — making the grocery store the place where consumers are most often reminded about inflation.

The intrigue: Dining out is worse — prices rose 4.1% over the last year, far faster than costs at the grocery store or overall inflation.

  • And prices for "food away from home" are up nearly 22% since 2021.

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