NEW CANAAN, Conn. — Grocery prices by late March were up by 6.5% from early January — an annualized increase of 26%, the sharpest in a generation, according to figures released Tuesday by Customer Growth Partners here.
CGP’s standard market basket of frequently purchased grocery and other household staples showed that the overall market basket increase for the three month period was held to 2.4% by flat or slightly declining prices in HBA, household consumables and general merchandise.
Combined with a 30% increase year-to-date in gasoline prices, the steepest rise since mid 2008, CGP said, the exploding costs of the two necessities threatens to blow a huge hole in family budgets, amounting to over 10% of monthly retail discretionary spending.
According to CPG, the spike in energy prices has taken a combined $18 billion bite out of monthly spending on discretionary items.
“This is the biggest inflationary double-whammy consumers have seen since the ‘bad old days’ 30 years ago when now-quaint oil prices of $30 a barrel sent the economy into the twin recessions of 1979 and 1981,” Craig Johnson, president of CPG, said in a statement.