Like many of my friends and neighbors in Los Angeles, I have noticed that my grocery bill has increased in the pat year. And yet, the official reading on inflation shows only a modest increase in prices. Today at the Washington Examiner, Charlie Spiering provides a statistic which helps explain the discrepancy:
Every year the official Consumer Price Index is released demonstrating the average price hikes experienced Americans each year. Last year the CPI rose 3.1 percent, a seemingly modest hike by many standards.
But the American Institute for Economic Research has released an alternate index, narrowing the scope to items purchesed by the average consumer every month, leaving out “big-ticket items” like cars, computers, and furniture.
According to this index, the prices for everyday items like food, beverages, fuel, power, and prescription drugs have risen 8.1 percent in 2011.
So, it wasn’t just my imagination. And it’s not just my grocery bill.
To many people, that increase seems even steeper. Since President Obama signed the “stimulus,” John Merline reports, “Median annual household income is about 7% below where it was in February 2009, according to the Sentier Research Household Income Index.” (H/t: Powerline picks for Merline link.)