NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Prices Rise In Some Sectors

June 22, 1998

Overall, inflation during the past year has increased only 1.7 percent. But while prices of commodities and manufactured goods have held steady, prices of services have risen, as measured by the Consumer Price Index.

  • In the year ended in May, commodities and manufactured goods recorded an average increase of only 0.1 percent.
  • Prices for prescription drugs and housekeeping supplies edged up 3.3 percent and 1.9 percent, respectively.
  • On the other hand, prices for meat, poultry, fish and eggs; toys; and gasoline fell 1 percent, 4.9 percent and 10.5 percent, respectively.
  • However, prices in the service sector jumped 2.8 percent on average -- with hotel services climbing 5.5 percent; tickets to events, 4.8 percent; dental services, 4.1 percent; car maintenance, 4 percent; and rents on primary homes, 3.1 percent.

Experts report some consumers become annoyed with sellers if they notice prices have risen; but when prices decline they tend to congratulate themselves on snagging a good bargain.

Source: Louis Uchitelle, "Some Prices Jump Despite a Pattern of Low Inflation," New York Times, June 22, 1998.


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