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Inflation Dogs Americans Ahead of National Splurge Day

San Diego gas prices in February 2022 / Reuters
• June 17, 2022 3:35 pm

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June 18 is National Splurge Day, a holiday meant for breaking up budgeting routines and enjoying a little something extra. This year, one thing is certain: No matter the splurge, it’ll be more expensive.

Inflation under President Joe Biden reached a record-high 8.6 percent in May, with the USDA forecasting food price increases as high as 20.5 percent. Consumers looking to indulge in a sugary sweet can expect to pay around 6 percent more than last year. Baked good prices are up at least 7 percent. Steak and lobster is running 6 to 8 percent more.

The White House has maintained that inflation is due to pandemic-related supply chain issues. In a speech last week, Biden shared thoughts about the global economy.

"America can tackle inflation from a position of strength unlike any other country in the world, because every country in the world is getting a big bite and piece of this inflation—worse than we are in the vast majority of countries around the world," Biden said.

Economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco believe Biden’s COVID-19 stimulus packages played a large role in American inflation outpacing rates in Europe, where such policies were far less extensive. Former Obama economic advisers have also said Biden bears responsibility for rising prices.

Ahead of Father’s Day, expect dad’s beer to cost around 5 percent more, his cigars 5 percent more, and his dry-cleaning 10 percent more. Letting him off his lawn care duties for the weekend and paying someone else will cost a whopping 22.4 percent more than last year.

Splurging on a weekend getaway will cost travelers more than it ever has. Gas prices have reached their highest ever, hitting $5.00 for the national average last week. Airline ticket prices have followed suit, rising almost 25 percent. Hotels and restaurants cost 8.3 percent more, and labor shortages are expected to persist.

Luxury and leather goods have also seen a persistent price increase trend throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. One Louis Vuitton style’s price has almost doubled, and Chanel’s iconic flap bag has gone up $2,000 in just over a year. Both companies cite material and labor shortages. Clothing inflation rates rose to 7.2 percent in March.

Two-thirds of Americans say inflation is eating away at their savings, and with an economic crisis looming, it’s hard to be spendthrift.