Inflation is still soaring at a record high level.
Consumer prices rose by 7.5% in January compared to a year ago, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ monthly report. This number was up from the 7% growth in December and represented the highest inflation rate since the 12-month period ending in February 1982.
Excluding food and energy, prices rose 6% from last year, marking the largest 12-month change since the period ending August 1982.
Footwear prices continued to increase, growing 6% in January year over year, according to data from the Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America (FDRA). This marks one of the fastest gains in decades.
Men’s footwear was up 5.1%, women’s was up 6.8% and kids’ was up 6.3%.
According to the FDRA, the January surge in prices suggests that that footwear prices will continue to rise throughout 2022.
“The concern with this continued record shoe inflation is that consumers are going to feel it a lot more than last year because there is less dollars in pockets to offset rising costs,” said FDRA SVP Andy Polk. “Government stimulus has dried up as families are no longer getting monthly child tax credit checks, then there are other issues like student loan repayments resuming. The result is many consumers are going to be shopping for shoes at even lower price points than they did last year, perhaps even purchasing less shoes, over the next few months.”
Online prices also surged 2.7% in January compared to last year, marking the 20th consecutive month of online inflation, according to Adobe’s digital price index. Prices for groceries (up 5.8% from last year) and medical supplies (up 8.2% from last year) showed the highest increases.
“While price drops in categories like electronics and apparel have brought online inflation down slightly from the record high last November, consumers are still contending with elevated prices in the digital economy,” said Patrick Brown, vice president of growth marketing and insights at Adobe. “This is particularly notable in a category like groceries, where online prices continue to hit new records, while consumer demand for online grocery shopping remains heightened.”
As inflation continues to surge, the issue remains among the chief concerns for global business leaders. Inflation was the second highest business concern reported among global CEOs behind COVID-19 disruptions, according to a survey of CEOs around the world highlighted in the C-Suite Outlook 2022 report from Conference Board, a business research group.
Despite high levels of inflation, retail spending continues to grow.
U.S. retail sales in January, excluding auto sales, rose 7.2% year over year, according to data from spending tracker Mastercard SpendingPulseTM. Online sales grew 10.4% compared to last year.
“Coming on the heels of the holidays, January typically marks a month of returns and exchanges. However, the strong growth across sectors reflects the optimism and eagerness for the year ahead,” said Steve Sadove, senior advisor for Mastercard and former CEO and chairman of Saks Inc. “With nearly all sectors up, we see consumers returning to their shopping habits with a continued emphasis on digital.”