Prices continued to soar last month.
Consumer prices rose by 7.9% in February compared to a year ago, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ monthly report. This number was up from the 7.5% growth in January and represented the highest inflation rate since the 12-month period ending in January 1982.
Compared to January, prices for February were up 0.8% on top of a 0.6% rise in January.
Excluding food and energy, prices rose 6.4% from last year, marking the largest 12-month change since the period ending August 1982. Compared to last year, the energy index rose 25.6% and the food index rose 7.9%, the largest 12-month increase since the period ending July 1981.
Footwear prices grew 7% in February year over year, according to data from the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America (FDRA). This marks the second fastest year over year increase in 33 years.
Men’s footwear was up 5.3%, women’s was up 6.8% and kids’ was up 10.3%.
Within footwear, the rising prices can be attributed to a variety of factors, especially heavy tariffs on consumer goods like footwear. The FDRA has continuously pressured the Biden Administration to eliminate the burdensome tariffs that have contributed to soaring prices on footwear.
According to FDRA, these tariffs, which can be as high as 48% on certain shoes, translate into massive price increases at retail. The problem is compounded by the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, which is causing spiking prices on commodities like oil and food in the U.S.
In an open letter to President Biden on March 1, Matt Priest, president and CEO of the FDRA, asked for the elimination of tariffs on shoes and other basic consumer goods through Labor Day 2022 in order to “truly attack inflation successfully.” Prior to the that, FDRA sent an open letter to the Biden administration’s council of economic advisors urging the president to strike down the 301 tariffs on consumer goods that are causing prices on certain items (like shoes) to spike.
“Kids shoe prices continue to skyrocket because the Biden Administration simply will not use a pen to strike the 301 tariffs greatly increases prices at retail,” said Priest in a statement. “These added tariffs, on top of already high shoe tariffs, are causing great harm to working class families for no real reason.”