Sitting down to read the paper on Sunday is normally a treat – just me, a cup of coffee and the comfortable Sunday Times. But this weekend when I got to the Business section, I was blown away by an article about how the cost of living has been skyrocketing in the last couple of years. While the article has a ton of information in it, I wanted to concentrate on just these statistics here in Los Angeles, which can normally be seen as a harbinger for the rest of the nation:
The price of gasoline has increased 26.9% from January 2007 to January 2008.
The price of automobile maintenance has increased 25.8% from 2006 to 2007.
The increase in the average minimum balance required in no-fee, interest-bearing bank accounts was 24.6% from 2006 to 2007.
The increase in the value of the euro versus the U.S. dollar between last week and the same week last year is 16%.
The increase in the fine for a parking ticket is up 8.3%.
The increase in the cost of the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ basket of food items in the LA area from 2007 to 2008 was 7.1%.
The average increase in rent from 2006 to 2007 was 5.1%.
Here in California, the rate of inflation was 3.9% in January and the rate in the entire country was 4.3%. Compared to inflation, it seems the cost of goods and services is skyrocketing unproportionally. It’s no wonder people are having such a hard time of making ends meet in the last couple of years.