Consumer Trends: What's Cheaper? What's Pricier?

  • 10 Consumer Price Trends

    By Daniel Wagner, AP Business Writer WASHINGTON (AP) — For recession-weary Americans cutting back on household expenses, a new report on consumer prices offers a few hints: Eat in, not out; buy produce, not meat; and think about buying a new car instead of settling for that used jalopy. Those examples of which costs are rising or falling come from Wednesday's Labor Department report on the Consumer Price Index. Here are some other interesting details on the consumer price report, by the numbers. INFLATION OR DEFLATION? +0.4%: August change in the Consumer Price Index -1.5%: The change in CPI in the year that ended Aug. 31. Much of the change came from gas prices falling after last year's record highs. +0.1%: August change in core CPI, which excludes food and energy — two areas where prices tend to be volatile. +1.4%: The change in core prices during the year that ended Aug. 31.
    BARGAIN CARBS, PRICEY PROTEINS, CHEAP PRODUCE
  • BARGAIN CARBS, PRICEY PROTEINS, CHEAP PRODUCE

    0.1%: August drop in cereal and bakery product prices. 0.4%: August increase in prices for meats, poultry, fish and eggs. 0.7%: Decline in fruit and vegetable prices for August.
    SAVE MONEY — EAT AT HOME
  • SAVE MONEY — EAT AT HOME

    1.6%: Drop in price for "food at home" since August 2008. 3.0%: Increase in price for "food away from home" since August 2008.
    GOOD TIME TO QUIT DRINKING AND SMOKING
  • GOOD TIME TO QUIT DRINKING AND SMOKING

    27.8%: Increase in tobacco prices since August 2008. 2.7%: Increase in prices for alcoholic beverages since August 2008.
    CLUNKERS COST MORE CASH
  • CLUNKERS COST MORE CASH

    1.3%: August drop in prices for new vehicles, due to government Cash for Clunkers program. 1.9%: Increase in the cost of used cars and trucks in August.
    GET ON THE BUS
  • GET ON THE BUS

    1.3%: August increase in public transportation costs. 9.1%: August rise in gasoline prices.
    RENTER'S MARKET
  • RENTER'S MARKET

    0%: August change in cost of rent for a primary residence. 0.1%: August rise in owners' payments for a primary residence.
    CHEAPER CLOTHES FOR WOMEN, PRICIER DUDS FOR DUDES
  • CHEAPER CLOTHES FOR WOMEN, PRICIER DUDS FOR DUDES

    0.3%: August drop in prices for women's and girls' apparel. 0.6%: August increase in prices for men's and boys' apparel.
    MORE EXPENSIVE IN AUGUST
  • MORE EXPENSIVE IN AUGUST

    0.4%: August increase in prices for nonalcoholic beverages. 0.4%: August increase in prices for tenants' and household insurance. 0.8%: August increase in prices for water, sewer and trash collection services.
    WHAT GOT CHEAPER?
  • WHAT GOT CHEAPER?

    0.2%: August drop in prices for footwear. 0.1%: August drop in prices for car parts and equipment. 2.8%: August drop in prices for personal computers and peripheral equipment. Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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