Speaking of inflation…how ‘bout paying 40% more for lunch than a year ago?

Illustration of inflation courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Picked up lunch at KFC yesterday. My go-to meal is three-piece chicken tender with one side and a soda. Yummy.

Had quite a shock at the price.

With tax it was $9.67. I was astounded.

That is up about three dollars from a year ago.

Checked my QuickBooks accounting (yeah, yeah, I’m an accountant so I keep track of those kinds of things – pray for me as you feel led) and found out that in February 2021 that same meal cost $6.86.

Checked further and found in January 2020 that same meal cost $5.80. That had been the price for several years before as I recall (but I didn’t double check QuickBooks).

The translates into 41% inflation at KFC in the last year and 18% the year prior.

Here is a detail calculation:

monthpriceincreasepercent
January 2022 $       9.67 $       2.8141.0%
February 2021 $       6.86 $       1.0618.3%
January 2020 $       5.80

The good news they actually had chicken, plenty of it. They also actually had enough staff to process the drive through line quickly and also cover the lobby. That is an improvement from last summer and fall.

The dramatic price increase allow them to source sufficient chicken and hire enough staff.

The price to consumers?

Inflation of 18% in the first pandemic year and 40% inflation during the second pandemic year.

Ouch.

Gas prices.

After look at that, I decided to check out gas prices I am paying at the gas station most convenient to me.

Going back to my notes (yeah, keep praying for me) found out here’s what I’ve been paying for gasoline purchase closest to January 1 of the last four years:

monthpriceincreasepercentsince ’19
January 2022 $       4.58 $       1.4847.8%51.7%
January 2021 $       3.10 $    (0.44)-12.4%2.6%
January 2020 $       3.54 $       0.5217.2%17.2%
January 2019 $       3.02

There was a 17% run up in 2019.

During 2020, first year of the pandemic, commuting miles collapsed, leisure travel collapsed, and air travel collapsed. Consequences for prices was a 12% drop at the gas pump.

In 2021, second year the pandemic, federal policies toward oil production, federal policies main-lining trillions of dollars of cash into the economy, and some people getting back to work and on airplanes led to whopping 48% jump in gas prices.

Cumulative change since 2019 was a net 3% increase at the end of 2020 and a 52% increase cumulative by the end of 2021.

Ouch and ouch.

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