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Cost Of Living Continues Rising

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Labor Department reported consumer prices jumped 5.4% in July from a year earlier.

Filling up at the pump remains pricey, especially for drivers with long commutes. The new government report says gas is up 41% compared to last year. That's fueling a rise in overall prices, including food.

The cost of eating out in July saw its biggest one-month surge in 40 years. And shoppers are spending more at the grocery store. Beef and veal jumped 6.5% in the past year. Pork products increased 7.8%. Whole milk rose 8.1%.

Catherine Carcamo is changing her shopping habits.

"Maybe a brand that you usually don't buy or maybe like smaller," said Carcamo.

There is a little bit of good news. Even though prices are going up, they're not rising as fast as previous months.

Used car prices slowed last month after soaring for most of the year. Airline tickets declined a little from the previous month but are still up 19% over last year.

"Those increases that we've seen continue to put a squeeze on the household budget," says Greg McBride, chief financial analyst with Bankrate.

He says it's not clear how long the current increases will continue.

"We won't know until probably early part of 2022, with any clarity, whether or not inflation was just passing through town or whether those higher numbers are here to stay for a while," McBride said.

Pandemic related supply chain issues are one factor influencing costs. Once those stabilize economists believe prices could too.

One bright spot in the report is prices for fruits and vegetables are down slightly in the past month.

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