Here’s how much prices have changed in NJ over the past year
You likely can't pick up on the month-to-month movement of prices at the supermarket or department store.
But new figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics offer a glimpse into how much prices have changed over the past year for consumers in the area.
According to the latest Consumer Price Index, prices in the New York metropolitan area — which includes 12 New Jersey counties — are up 3.2% since July 2022. The index includes several categories such as food, shelter, apparel, transportation, and energy.
Over the year, food prices rose 3.5%, the index shows. Cereals and bakery products registered a jump of 6.1% in the region. The category of meats, poultry, fish, and eggs registered a drop of 2.6%.
The price of "food away from home," aka restaurant food, is up 6.5%, according to the index.
"That's more than twice the local inflation rate. If people are looking to save money, they might want to think twice about eating out," said Bruce Bergman, BLS regional economist.
Month to month, food prices were unchanged overall in July. While prices rose on carbonated drinks, the cost dropped for items such as soups and fresh fruits.
Compared to June, prices in the region rose 0.4% last month, according to the index. Much of the increase was attributed to higher prices for shelter.
The category of shelter, which includes hotel lodging and the cost of living in a home or apartment, registered its 19th consecutive month of price increases in July.
"The last time it was this high was January 2007," Bergman said.
Year over year, energy prices fell 11.5%. Gasoline prices in the region are down more than 21% compared to a year ago.