EDGEWATER, NJ (CBSNewYork) – The cost of living is increasing.
The Labor Department says the consumer price index jumped 6.2% in October from a year ago. It is the highest rate of inflation in 31 years.
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âEvery week that I come here, I spend more and more and more and more. The food is out of control, âNorth Bergen’s Miriam Foreman told CBS2’s Vanessa Murdock.
âWe expected a rapid rate of inflation, not as fast,â said Jill Schlesinger, CBS News business analyst.
“One of the main drivers of the increase during the year is the price of gasoline,” said Martin Kohli, chief regional economist for the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
He says refilling is costing drivers about 49.5% more than last year.
âI drive a car that uses premium gasoline, so that definitely had an impact on that,â one man said.
Locally, the inflation news is a bit brighter.
âOur increase is 4.3%,â Kohli said.
Believe it or not, the cost of housing plays a big role in our low inflation rate.
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âWe haven’t, however, seemed to have seen the same kind of rent increases over the year that the nation has,â Kohli said.
But meat prices have risen a lot locally – over 11%.
North Bergen resident Eddie Priest has changed his menu.
âLess steak for me. I generally enjoy a good rib eye steak. I had to sacrifice that, âhe said.
âThe numbers we’ve seen for pay increases are the highest in years. This is the good news. The bad news is they’re below 6%, âsaid Greg McBride, chief financial analyst for Bankrate.com.
He suggests making some changes to offset inflation.
âIf you are one of the millions of homeowners who have yet to refinance their mortgage, this is step number one,â he said. âThis is enrollment season for many employers, so enrolling in a flexible spending account for dependents or health care will allow you to pay those costs in 2022 with pre-tax dollars. This represents quite significant savings there. “
Kohli also offered a few tips – consider getting around by car, consider public transport, hold back buying a new or used vehicle, and hold back the meat – you’ll find more stable prices with fruits and vegetables.
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The National Economic Council is looking for ways to reduce energy costs, and the Federal Trade Commission is monitoring price increases.