The big number from the recent U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index report was the 8.3 percent year-over-year inflation rate across the board. But, like any all-encompassing number, there’s more detail down in the weeds.
A quick glance at the energy section of the report can send shivers up the spine. While month-over-month data show prices on the decline, it’s still tough to comprehend the 23.8 percent year-over-year increase in energy costs.
The report also offers a chance to dig into some data that’s a little closer to home. Here’s a quick snapshot of inflations impact on the major verticals that matter to our channel.
In the appliance market, things appear to be improving. Despite cost increases of 3 percent year-over-year, month-over-month prices in the category declined 1 percent. Looking closer at the major appliances segment, BLS data showed month-over-month prices were down 1.7 percent.
One area of particular concern that was pointed out in the report: Laundry equipment. Year-over-year data show a 10.8 percent increase, while month-over-month number was also up 6.9 percent.
Furniture & Bedding
Inflation continues to be a thorn in the side of the furniture and bedding market, according to the BLS report. Prices are up 12.8 percent, year-over-year, though the month-over-month figure nudged up only a smidge at 0.5 percent.
Digging deeper, month-over-month changes were nominal in certain segments of the market, but the year-over-year increases continue to be high in bedroom furniture (up 8.7 percent) and living room/kitchen/dining room (up 17.7 percent).
If they aren’t among the consumers who plan to save more, now would appear to be the time for shoppers to make a TV purchase. Across the board, according, the consumer electronics market has seen prices plummet, according to the BLS report. TV prices, in particular, are down 19.1 percent year-over-year and 2.2 percent month-over-month. The only other product category that even comes close to that in the entire report is smartphones (-20.4 percent year-over-year).
Other consumer electronics segments down year-over-year include computers/peripherals/smart home assistants (-4.3 percent), telephone hardware/calculators/other consumer information items (-13.8 percent) and video accessories (-4.3 percent).
Rob is the corporate communications manager for Nationwide Marketing Group.