Inflation Report: What Costs More—and Less

Prices for alcohol, restaurants rose while electronics, beef costs dropped, according to October statistics

Liquor prices were among those that went up in October for American consumers.Photo: Nick Hagen for The Wall Street Journal

Consumers faced higher rent, alcohol and restaurant costs in October while beef and electronics prices continued to ease.

The consumer-price index rose 7.7% in October from the same month a year earlier, the smallest 12-month increase since January, the Labor Department said Thursday. On a monthly basis, the CPI increased a seasonally adjusted 0.4% in October from September. The CPI measures what consumers pay for goods and services.

Here’s a look at what went up and what went down:

Gasoline

The price of gasoline rose 17.5% in October from the same month a year before. It increased a seasonally adjusted 4% in October from September. The cost of electricity rose 14% from a year before while gas costs for homes increased 20% in the same period.

Groceries and restaurants

Prices of groceries rose 12.4% in October from year earlier while the cost of eating out increased 8.6%. Grocery prices were up 0.4% in October from the prior month while the cost of eating out increased 0.9%.

Beef and veal prices were down 3.6% last month compared with the same month a year earlier. Pork, ham and chicken prices were higher. The cost of a sandwich is up: Lunchmeat prices rose 19.1% in October from a year earlier, bread costs increased 14.8% and spices, seasonings and condiments rose 13%.

Liquor

Prices for alcoholic beverages, including beer, wine and liquor consumed at home, bars and restaurants, rose 5% in October from a year before. That was the highest increase in 30 years.

The price for alcoholic beverages consumed at home increased 3.8% while those sipped at bars and restaurants rose 7%.

Rent

The shelter index, which tracks housing costs, rose 0.8% in October from September, the largest monthly increase since August 1990. Shelter prices rose 6.9% in October from a year before. Rent prices increased 7.5% from a year before while a proxy for owner-occupied housing costs rose 6.9%.

New vs. used cars

The price for used cars fell 2.4% in October from the prior month while the price for new cars rose 0.4%. The price for used cars were 2% higher than they were a year ago while the price for new cars rose 8.4%.

Other forms of transportation also saw increases. Airline tickets were up 43% from a year before while mass transit prices rose 1.3% in the same period.

Electronics

The price of electronics has declined with the holidays approaching. Televisions fell 16.5% in October from a year before and smartphones declined 23%. The price of computers and related products fell 3.1% during the same period.

In 2021, officials thought that high inflation would be temporary. But a year later, it was still near a four-decade high. WSJ’s Jon Hilsenrath explains three factors that have kept inflation up for longer than expected. Illustration: Jacob Reynolds

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Write to Austen Hufford at austen.hufford@wsj.com