Groceries, Toilet Paper, Rental Cars & More: 10 Things That Are More Expensive Right Now
Over the past year, COVID-19 has increased prices and consumption patterns.
Now that the vaccines are given and a semblance of normalcy begins, Americans are planning vacations, heading out to restaurants, and buying homes.
The turbulence created supply and demand problems. Here, we take a look at some products and services that you’ll likely pay more for in the coming weeks.
Cheap flights are coming to an end. As more and more Americans take to the skies, ticket prices are rising.
The CDC has said air travel is safe for those who have been fully vaccinated. Yet, as CDC director Rochelle Walensky recently said the agency still does not recommend travel due to the increase in coronavirus cases.
But the number of travelers is already on the rise, and the travel industry is increasing this summer to meet pent-up demand, fueling price hikes this summer.
However, there is some good news. Conde Nast Traveler reports that data from the International Air Transport Association, an industry group, shows average airline ticket prices continue to reflect a 20% drop from before the crisis.
If you head to the local bar for the wing night, expect to pay more. Restaurants and grocery stores are raising the prices for chicken wings, which in some cases have gone from $ 1.90 to $ 4 a pound.
The February frost in Texas hurt supplies as poultry farmers lost chickens and some hatcheries lost power. But what really drives the price increases is demand. It turns out Americans ate a lot of wings during the pandemic.
Retail and supermarket sales in 2020 increased 10.3% to nearly $ 3 billion, according to the National Chicken Council, while restaurant wing portion sales rose 7% in 2020 during the pandemic.
“If you think about it, restaurants like Wing Seals and Pizza places were built around take-out and delivery, so they didn’t have to change their business model much during the pandemic,” Council spokesperson Tom Super said.
Backyard pools are a pandemic lifeline for active families. Unfortunately, an increase in demand last summer, as more people bought pools or used existing pools, resulted in a shortage of chlorine tablets. Now that summer 2021 is upon us, some say the tablets remain hard to come by, when a single bucket of the chemical could cost $ 200 more than last year. It didn’t help that a fire destroyed the BioLab chlorine production plant in Louisiana, which accounted for 80% of the nation’s supply.
Parents may soon be paying more for diapers.
Kimberly-Clark, the maker of diapers and other paper products like toilet paper, recently announced that it would increase the prices of some products in June to offset inflation-related expenses. Additionally, Procter & Gamble has announced that it will increase prices for Pampers and Luvs diapers as well as other paper products, including Tampax, in mid-September.
Both companies said the price increases would be in the mid to high figure. Kimberly-Clark makes Huggies, GoodNites, and Pull-Ups.
Although gasoline prices have held steady over the past few weeks, fueling our vehicles is more expensive than a year ago. In some parts of the country, regular gasoline costs more than $ 4 a gallon.
Here in central Pennsylvania, prices hover around $ 2.94 a gallon, according to AAA, a national organization of automotive and travel members.
The Consumer Price Index from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that gasoline prices rose 22.5% from the previous year, mainly due to an overall increase in goods and services in the country. But also, because Americans are taking to the roads as pandemic restrictions ease.
Some believe prices may continue to rise in anticipation of increased demand this summer.
Expect to pay more for these weekly errands.
The monthly consumer price index released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed a 0.6% increase in March, the largest month-long increase in nearly a decade. Prices for the past year have increased overall by 2.6%.
Government figures show that the prices of fruits and vegetables increased by almost 2%, while meat, poultry, fish and eggs increased by 0.4%.
NBC News reports economists say hikes are linked to rising gasoline prices, soaring commodity prices, increased imports from China, heavy crop damage in the Midwest and other factors.
The housing market is hot. Inventories are low and demand is high, causing prices to be in the thousands of dollars over the asking price. Homes of all price ranges sell out within days.
Home prices rose 17% a year ago, according to Redfin, a Seattle-based real estate broker. In fact, 43% of homes sold above the listing price, the highest percentage Redfin said it had ever seen.
For new homes, soaring lumber prices are contributing to higher home prices.
A construction boom in the United States is causing lumber prices to skyrocket.
Since the start of the pandemic, wood has become an important commodity, especially as people have turned to DIY projects around their homes. At the same time, sawmills were limiting their production.
The situation was made worse by low interest rates and the tight housing market, which pushed new home construction, according to Fortune.
Current lumber prices add at least $ 24,000 to the price of a typical new single-family home, according to the National Association of Home Builders.
Are you traveling this summer? Make sure to book a rental car as soon as possible.
Some of the larger car rental companies, including Hertz, Avis, and Enterprise, report low inventories, while prices are several times higher than normal. The current Hertz weekend rate for a Chevrolet Spark microcar at the Detroit Metro Airport is $ 104.30 per day – nearly three times the pre-pandemic price, according to NBC News.
Businesses say they are seeing an increase in leisure travel as Americans eager to get back on the road. But it all comes as companies are restocking after selling cars last year when travel dried up. Hertz said it had 42% fewer cars in its fleet at the end of 2020, more than a year earlier.
Toilet paper supplies were wiped out last year at the height of the pandemic. Now the prices are going up.
The second-largest toilet paper maker in the United States recently warned it would raise prices in June on several products such as toilet paper and diapers. In a press release, Kimberly-Clark said the increases “are necessary to help offset significant inflation in commodity costs,” reflecting higher procurement costs.
A surge in the prices of wood pulp, a key component of the paper used to make toilet paper, is also to blame.
Kimberly-Clark said the price increases would be “in the mid to high number” and affect baby and child care products, adult care products and Scott toilet paper. The company manufactures Cottonelle and Viva, Kleenex, Kotex and Huggies diapers.