WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that inflation on all items increased 6.4% for the 12 months ending in January — down marginally from 6.5% in December. Core inflation, which excludes energy and food prices, rose at a pace of 5.6% in January from a year prior. The shelter and food-at-home indices increased 7.9% and 10.1% respectively over the past 12 months. Real wages fell by 1.9%.
Independent Women’s Forum (IWF) produces a monthly Inflation Tracker on popular household items that women purchase.
Patrice Onwuka, director of the Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO) at IWF, issued the following statement:
“Inflation is rebounding, causing worry that 2023 will be another year of turbulent prices. On a monthly basis, the consumer price index (CPI) and core CPI — less the volatile categories of food and energy — grew faster than expected. The bottom line is that we are not off to a good start. Prices today are far above where they were at the start of 2021, and real wages still have not caught up with inflation.
“Families are straining under the weight of high prices. Women, who are the primary shoppers in most households, know the erosion of their purchasing power at the department store, the grocery store, and even the dollar store.
“Celebrating Valentine’s Day will be a costly affair again this year. Prices on a full-service dinner out are up 8%, candy prices are up 12%, and alcohol prices are up about 6%. Lovers will shell out 12% more for cards and gift wrap and 5% more for flowers than this time last year.
“Clearly, Americans know that inflation is dragging down their standard of living and hampering their mobility. Spent-down COVID savings are no longer a cushion against persistent high prices. Yet the president paints a pretty picture of the economy that most Americans know is a fable. It’s a bald-faced lie to claim that the Inflation Reduction Act is reducing inflation. Painful interest rate hikes are fighting once-in-a-generation-high inflation sparked by irresponsible federal spending in Washington under President Biden’s leadership. The damage is done; it’s time for a new course of action.”