Biden’s Policies Mean Christmas Comes At A Higher Cost For Americans Plagued By Nearly 2 Years Of High Inflation

November’s Inflation Report Marks 12 Straight Months Of Year-Over-Year Inflation Of At Least 7%, Numbers That ‘Are Way Too High For A Healthy Economy,’ Resulting In ‘Severe Financial Pressures For Most U.S. Households’ And Higher Prices For Gifts, Food, And Decorations During The Holidays


Inflation Has Remained Far Above Normal For Close To Two Years

November marked the NINETEENTH consecutive month in which inflation rose at least 5 percent year-over-year. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed 12/13/2022)

This Month’s Inflation Numbers ‘Are Way Too High For A Healthy Economy’

“Data released Tuesday morning by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that prices rose 7.1 percent in November compared with last year … figures [that] are way too high for a healthy economy …” (The Washington Post, 12/13/2022)

  • “Scorching-hot inflation has created severe financial pressures for most U.S. households, which are forced to pay more for everyday necessities like food and rent. The burden is disproportionately borne by low-income Americans, whose already-stretched paychecks are heavily impacted by price fluctuations.” (Fox Business, 12/13/2022)

Prices For Groceries Continued To Climb Last Month

“Other price gains proved persistent and stubbornly high in November: The cost of groceries climbed 0.5%, putting the 12-month increase at 10.6%. Consumers paid more for items like cereal, rice, bread, fresh fish and seafood, eggs, milk and fresh vegetables, including tomatoes and lettuce.” (Fox Business, 12/13/2022)

  • “Grocery prices rose 0.5% in November, led by a whopping 8.9% jump in the price of lettuce. ‘I've never seen it like this,’ said Brian Guarino, a produce distributor outside Philadelphia. A wholesale box of romaine lettuce that typically sells for $25 to $30 on the east coast is costing up to $100, as a result of growing problems in California and high transportation costs.” (NPR, 12/13/2022)

Costs For Shelter Have Increased At The Highest Rate In 40 Years

“Shelter costs, which account for about 40% of the core inflation increase, rose 0.6% for the month and are up 7.1% over the past year, the fastest annual increase since 1982. Rent costs jumped 0.6% over the month and 7.2% on an annual basis. Rising rents are a concerning development because higher housing costs most directly and acutely affect household budgets.” (Fox Business, 12/13/2022)

‘Inflation Remains High … And Has Spread To More Labor-Intensive Services’

“Inflation remains high, however, and has spread to more labor-intensive services as wages surged in a tight labor market where demand for workers exceeds the number of unemployed looking for jobs…. Fed Chair Jerome Powell in a recent speech said price trends for services, not including housing, reflect inflationary pressures in the broader economy and were important when gauging inflation’s future path. ‘Because wages make up the largest cost in delivering these services, the labor market holds the key to understanding inflation in this category,’ he said.” (The Wall Street Journal, 12/13/2022)


Since President Biden Took Office, Prices For Food, Energy, Transportation, And Housing Have Increased At Staggering Rates

Since President Biden became president, inflation has increased 13.8%. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed 12/13/2022)

Meanwhile, Americans Continue Giving Up More Of Their Paychecks To Inflation, With Year-On-Year Real Average Weekly Earnings Decreasing 3%

“Real average hourly earnings decreased 1.9 percent, seasonally adjusted, from November 2021 to November 2022. The change in real average hourly earnings combined with a decrease of 1.1 percent in the average workweek resulted in a 3.0-percent decrease in real average weekly earnings over this period.” (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Press Release, Accessed 12/13/2022)


‘The Highest Inflation Since The 1980s’ Is Making Christmas More Expensive This Year

“Gifts and food are costing Americans more this holiday season. Holiday decorations are costing more, too, with some Christmas trees selling for over $100.” (“Inflation Raises Christmas Costs, With Some Trees Selling For Over $100,” CBS News, 12/12/2022)

“The highest inflation since the 1980s is making holiday budgeting a more complex equation for millions of middle-class families: A November Quinnipiac poll found 47% of Americans have less in savings than they did just a year ago. The same poll found 42% plan to spend less on gifts this season and only 8% plan to spend more.” (“Squeezed By Inflation, Families Are Tightening Their Holiday Budgets,” CNN, 12/12/2022)

  • “A recent consumer sentiment survey from Alvarez & Marsal showed that … 7 in 10 consumers are modifying their spending this holiday season. Almost 40 percent of shoppers said they will spend less on gifts for themselves this year, 35 percent said they will spend less on gifts for others, and about a quarter said they are giving fewer people gifts. ‘It’s quite an across-the-board intention to retrench on gifting,’ [Jonathan Sharp, a managing director with the consumer and retail group at the consulting firm Alvarez & Marsal] said.” (“Inflation Could Steal Christmas, But Shoppers Are Finding Ways Around It,” The Washington Post, 11/19/2022)

The Costs Of ‘Key Holiday Dinner Items … Are Up Between 15 And 25%’

“The financial strain can also be felt during this year's Christmas dinner. According to the consumer financial services company Bankrate, key holiday dinner items such as turkey, baking products and dairy are up between 15 and 25%.” (“Inflation Raises Christmas Costs, With Some Trees Selling For Over $100,” CBS News, 12/12/2022)

Prices For Christmas Trees And Other Holiday Decorations Are Up, Too

“Christmas tree prices had been expected to increase between 5% and 15% this year compared to last year, according to the Real Christmas Tree Board …” (“Inflation Raises Christmas Costs, With Some Trees Selling For Over $100,” CBS News, 12/12/2022)

  • “Gary Thomas, who has a sprawling farm near the Pennsylvania-Maryland border, is one of the farmers who has had to raise the price of trees this year — charging more than $100 for one of his finest. He said he has had to pay more to keep workers in a competitive labor market, and that his supply prices are spiking. ‘My prices went up 15% this year on Fraser Fir,’ he said. He has worried about what customers will think of his price hikes.” (“Inflation Raises Christmas Costs, With Some Trees Selling For Over $100,” CBS News, 12/12/2022)
  • “High inflation has prompted consumers to adjust. Emma Chao, an art director in Brooklyn, N.Y., said she has scaled back on spending as prices surged for rent, health-insurance premiums, and veterinary care. She has started buying clothes for her daughter at swaps instead of stores. She scrapped plans to buy a car and instead purchased an electric bike in a Black Friday sale. And she is planning to buy a smaller Christmas tree after a friend told her they were selling for more than $100 in Brooklyn. ’I usually get a 5-foot tree, but this year we’ll just do a 3- or 4-foot tree,’ said Ms. Chao, who is 37 years old. ‘Even then, I haven’t bought one yet because I’m dreading the price tag.’” (The Wall Street Journal, 12/13/2022)

“Other holiday decorations are costing more, too. Kathy Brown, who operates an all-year Christmas store in St. Michaels, Maryland, said she has been impacted by shipping costs. Surcharges and fuel costs are making it pricier to ship merchandise in, and also to ship it out.” (“Inflation Raises Christmas Costs, With Some Trees Selling For Over $100,” CBS News, 12/12/2022)

‘It’s A Lot Less Spending This Year And A Lot More Budgeting And Prioritizing,’ ‘How Do You Create A Budget When You Don’t Have Any Sort Of Extra Income?’

“Anya Remy is Christmas shopping for her family on a stricter budget than ever before. Remy, a human resources professional in Maryland, has felt the pain of high inflation in recent months. So, she asked her kids to cut down their Christmas lists and has been searching for the best deals. ‘It’s a lot less spending this year and a lot more budgeting and prioritizing,’ Remy told CNN. ‘It’s a few items for the kids this year, as opposed to getting them all of the things on their list.’” (“Squeezed By Inflation, Families Are Tightening Their Holiday Budgets,” CNN, 12/12/2022)

“Janette Duvall, a school bus driver in Maryland, is relying on coupons for the first time to afford gifts for her family. While inflation is squeezing her budget, she wants to make sure her kids have something to open on Christmas, even if she can’t buy anything for herself. ‘I will do whatever I can, but I will, of course, look for something cheaper this year,’ she said. ‘Not everybody will have the same quality of gift they used to get.’” (“Squeezed By Inflation, Families Are Tightening Their Holiday Budgets,” CNN, 12/12/2022)

“Second-grade teacher Lindsay Cook said her family has been living paycheck to paycheck for the first time….  For months, she and her husband, a school security officer, have been dipping into savings and using credit cards to keep up with higher prices on food, gas, energy and more, as they take care of their two children. Budgeting for the holidays, she said, has been daunting. ‘How do you create a budget when you don’t have any sort of extra income,’ she said. ‘I’m just trying to limit the amount of extra spending that I’m doing and try to pull from whatever savings I have left.’ She decided to cap her spending at $100 for each of her children. She and her husband would like to get each other gifts, but she said it’s low on the priority list. ‘I don’t want to disappoint my kids,’ she said.” (“Squeezed By Inflation, Families Are Tightening Their Holiday Budgets,” CNN, 12/12/2022)

CINCINNATI SHOPPER SHANNON CARR: “If the economy was different, I would be [giving] more… Property taxes are going up, gas and electric bills - the water bills are ridiculous. Basic month-to-month bills are a lot higher, and it is sucking up a lot of money.” (“With Inflation Looming, Americans Are Shopping Smart This Holiday Season,” NPR, 11/27/2022)



Related Issues: Inflation, Economy