Clothes, groceries and vacations are getting more expensive in Virginia

VIRGINIA — Anyone who’s been to a Virginia grocery store recently knows the pinch of a 7.9% jump in inflation, the biggest rise in the consumer price index since 1982.

the food prices rose in step with inflation, costing Americans 7.9% more last month than in February 2021, according to the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on increases in the consumer price index. The report is a cautionary tale, showing a steady rise in inflation since last fall.

Proteins such as meat, fish, poultry and eggs rose 13% nationally. Fruits, vegetables, grains and baked goods rose nearly 8%. Dairy and related products cost about 5% more.

But within these categories, the increases are stronger. Milk, for example, costs about 11% more. A roast beef costs about 19% more and a steak 17% more. Citrus costs about 16% more. Roasted coffee is up 11%. Eggs increased by 8%.

DC-area residents paid 5.3% more for food in February than they did a year ago, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Much of the focus on inflation has been on rising fuel prices. However, the average cost paid by Virginia residents for a gallon of gasoline fell to $4.09 per gallon on Monday, down 11.8 cents from a week ago, according to AAA.

Electricity and natural gas cost increases in homes were lower in DC and Northern Virginia than surrounding areas, rising 12.2% in February from a year ago, versus an 18.8% increase in Baltimore and a 14.6% increase in the Philadelphia area.

Nationally, new cars and trucks cost about 12% more. But if you are considering buying a used vehicle? Prepare to pay about 41% more. Tires cost about 15% more. Oil costs about 13% more.

The cost of women’s clothing increased by 6% overall, but dresses alone cost almost 14% more. The cost of clothing for babies and toddlers has increased by 12%, and it costs more than 10% to buy shoes for children.

The cost of vacations is also increasing. Air fares have increased by approximately 12%. Rent a car ? It will cost 24% more. Hotels cost about 29% more. If you plan to attend a major sporting event, expect to pay around 21% more.

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Elizabeth J. Harless