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Clothes, Groceries, Vacations Getting Pricier In Virginia

Patch 3/23/2022 Mark Hand
Proteins like meat, fish, poultry and eggs are up 13 percent nationally. Fruits, vegetables, cereals and bakery items are up almost 8 percent. Dairy and related products cost about 5 percent more. © Shutterstock Proteins like meat, fish, poultry and eggs are up 13 percent nationally. Fruits, vegetables, cereals and bakery items are up almost 8 percent. Dairy and related products cost about 5 percent more.

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

The price of food increased on pace with inflation, costing Americans 7.9 percent more last month than in February 2021, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ most recent report on consumer price index increases. The report is a cautionary tale, showing a steady increase in inflation since last fall.

Proteins like meat, fish, poultry and eggs are up 13 percent nationally. Fruits, vegetables, cereals and bakery items are up almost 8 percent. Dairy and related products cost about 5 percent more.

But within those categories are steeper increases. Milk, for example, costs about 11 percent more. A beef roast costs about 19 percent more and a steak 17 percent more. Citrus fruits cost about 16 percent more. Roasted coffee is up 11 percent. Eggs increased 8 percent.

D.C. area residents paid 5.3 percent more for food in February compared with a year ago, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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

Increases in electricity and natural gas costs in homes were lower in D.C. and Northern Virginia than they were in surrounding areas, rising 12.2 percent in February from a year ago, compared with an 18.8 percent increase in Baltimore and a 14.6 increase in the Philadelphia area.

Nationwide, new cars and trucks cost about 12 percent more. But if you’re planning to buy a used vehicle? Prepare to pay about 41 percent more. Tires cost about 15 percent more. Oil costs about 13 percent more.

The cost of women’s clothing increased 6 percent overall, but dresses alone cost almost 14 percent more. The cost to clothe babies and toddlers increased 12 percent, and it costs more than 10 percent more to buy shoes for the kids.

The cost of vacation also is increasing. Airline fares are up about 12 percent. Leasing a car? That’ll cost 24 percent more. Hotels cost about 29 percent more. If you’re planning to attend a major sporting event, expect to pay about 21 percent more.

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