In early 2021, the clowns in the media did a little song and dance about inflation, ensuring us that it wasn't happening and that our glorious Supreme Leader Joe Biden would chart a course forward into a new utopia.
That narrative quickly fell apart in May and June, when reporters were forced to acknowledge that inflation was happening – yet they still tried to couch it as a good thing.
Consider this CNN quote from May 25th:
In many ways, higher prices can be seen as evidence that President Joe Biden's economic and health policies are working.
That narrative continued for months, painting inflation as a "dirty word" that's actually a good thing for the average American.
- "Inflation isn't happening."
- "Inflation is happening, but it's temporary."
- "Inflation is here to stay, but it's a good thing."
Now, we've inevitably come full circle to this:
Bad news for American consumers: It's getting more expensive to dine out, and it's getting more expensive to eat at home.
Restaurant prices spiked 5.8% over the 12 months ending in November without seasonal adjustments, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday. That's the largest 12-month increase since the year ended January 1982.
And unfortunately for those hoping to curb spending by turning to home cooking, grocery prices are also at record highs: They jumped 6.4%, the largest 12-month increase since December 2008. Beef had the most dramatic increase with a 20.9% spike in prices.
Maybe you think this won't affect you, because you live on a steady American diet of gas station coffee and Mickey D's.
McDonald's (MCD) said in October that it expects menu prices to be about 6% higher this year compared to last. The increase "has been pretty well received by customers," CEO Chris Kempczinski said during an October analyst call. Chipotle also raised prices this year, yet it has seen its same-store restaurant sales grow.
Get ready to meet the new dollar menu!
The vegetarians aren't immune from the price increases either:
Lettuce prices climbed 6.9% and fresh fruit went up 2.2% on a seasonally adjusted basis. Oranges, including tangerines, rose 2.4%.
Getting your donut fix in is gonna be more expensive as well.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, treats like fresh coffeecakes and donuts jumped 3.5% in price.
These price hikes are the highest we've seen in nearly 40 years.