SAN JOSE -- With so many firework restrictions in place across the Bay Area, spending too much on sparklers won't be a problem this 4th of July. Stocking up for a barbeque, on the other hand, is another story.
A July 4th cookout will likely cost you around 17% more this year than last year, according to a recent survey from the American Farm Bureau Federation.
The prices of many of the common items, from chicken and beef to cookies and lemonade, have gone up significantly over the past year due to inflation.
According to the latest data from the Consumer Price Index, which is from May:
- Chicken was 17.4% more expensive in May of 2022 than in May of 2021
- Ground beef was 13.6% more expensive
- Soda was 13.2% more expensive
- Hot dogs were 10.4% more expensive
- Burger buns & bread were 8.7% more expensive
"There's not a big difference there if we're looking food versus overall, but we feel food prices more," said Justin Rietz, an assistant professor of economics at San Jose State University. "We notice it. I think people see that's where it impacts them, and that's where they focus on."
Rietz says there are many factors at play, but this isn't something that will resolve overnight.
"I think the important point here is that we may be facing this for a while. So, when we call upon government officials to fix things - it's not that easy. This is something that might have to work itself through the system. So, to point blame at any one person or any one group of people - whether that's corporate America, the Federal Reserve, or the Biden Administration, I don't think that's something we can do at this point," he said. "If it's supply chain issues, these things have to work themselves out. If it's monetary policy, the Fed is working on that - but they have to be careful because as I said, you want to hit the brakes, but not too hard."
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