Valentine’s Day Gets More Expensive for Illinois Couples in 2022 – Muddy River News


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Valentine's Day Gets More Expensive for Illinois Couples in 2022 – Muddy River News

Valentine’s Day Gets More Expensive for Illinois Couples in 2022 – Muddy River News

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| Photo courtesy of Illinois Policy

Couples in Illinois are gearing up for the upcoming Valentine’s Day weekend, but collecting their loved one’s favorite flowers or candy brings a painful reminder: Over the past year, inflation has killed nearly everyone Everything has become more expensive.

Inflation has reached its highest level since 1982, with average consumer prices rising 7.5% from January 2021 to January 2022, according to the latest Consumer Price Index data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Prices for the entire basket on which the index is based rose an average of 7.5%, but inflation affects each component of the upcoming date night differently. To make matters worse, nearly all prices are rising faster than wages in Illinois, which are up just 3.6% in 2021.

Let’s start with a typical Valentine’s Day gift. The cost of florist trips is expected to increase by 4% this year. And candy? That’s also an extra 4.8%.

Going out to dinner and a show? This would be an increase of 7.1% and 5.5% respectively from last year. Thinking of grabbing a drink before or after? Those prices rose 4.2%. Dress up for the occasion? Women’s clothing prices have risen 11.1 percent this year, while men’s suits and sport coats have risen 13.6 percent.

Don’t forget your transport for the night in town. Vehicle prices are at a premium. Used car prices rose 40.5%, while new car prices rose 12.2%. Oh, and what about fuel? Extra 40%.

Perhaps, with Valentine’s Day on Monday, a long weekend trip out of town is planned. The good news: Airfare prices rose just 4.9%, but that’s only where the good news ends. hotel? This would be an additional 23.6%. Rent a car? Prices rose 29.3%.

So, are all these price hikes prompting a rethinking of date night? Maybe it’s better to stay home this year, eat a quiet meal, and give your significant other a nice gift. Well, sorry, the cost of food consumed by households rose 7.4%. For delivery, this will be an additional 9%. As for that gift, jewelry will be charged an inflation surcharge of 6.5% this year.

In most years, rising prices are inconvenient, but when wages can’t keep up, they threaten the way people live. This is especially true now, with more than 333,000 Illinoisans still out of work. The state’s job market is one of the least recovering since COVID-19, with more than 1 million Illinoisans out of work due to state-mandated lockdowns.

Unfortunately for Illinoisans, inflation, along with long-term taxes, has eroded their purchasing power. Since Governor JB Pritzker took office, state taxes and fees have increased by nearly $5 billion a year.

Now, during an election year, Pritzker is proposing a temporary moratorium on the grocery tax — one of only 13 states with such a tax. He also proposed a one-year freeze on the automatically increased gas tax, which he doubled in 2019 to the second-highest in the nation, as a way to put money “back” in the pockets of Illinoisans.

Unless the changes become permanent, they’ll be little more than election-year gimmicks, leaving Illinoisans battling higher prices and taxes next Valentine’s Day. Nothing to like there.

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