While Tuesday’s consumer price index shows the overall inflation rate easing slightly to 6.4%, prices for rent, gas and food continue to rise.
And then there’s eggs.
Egg prices rose 8.5% in January from a month before.
Eggs are now 70% more expensive than a year ago.
This is due in large part to efforts to eradicate an outbreak of bird flu among egg-laying hens. Millions of hens have been put down.
At the same time, higher feed and distribution costs are adding to wholesale egg prices, pushing retail costs even higher.
And don’t overlook a little good old-fashioned price gouging from farmers keen on boosting profit margins.
Scramble all that up, and you’ve got a recipe for inflation souffle.
The 70% annual price increase for eggs is dramatic. But eggs aren’t the only staple widening a hole in many consumers’ pockets.
Butter was over 26% more expensive in January from a year before. Margarine was up by 45%.
Flour prices rose by 20.4%, bread was 15% pricier and sugar was up 13.5%.
Chicken prices surged by 10.5%, hot dogs were 11.4% more expensive and breakfast sausages jumped by 10.1%.
Overall grocery prices climbed by more than 11% in January from a year earlier.
So, yeah, inflation is slowly coming down on a statistical basis.
On a real-world basis, things are anything but over-easy.