For decades, inflation in the United States had remained remarkably stable, spurring economic growth and helping Americans make financial decisions with confidence. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, however, disruptions in the supply chain and labor force, combined with other factors, have resulted in new concerns about rising prices. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the overall inflation rate in the U.S. economy hit 7% from December 2020 to December 2021. But the factors that lead to inflation matter since the price increase of certain goods and services have severely outpaced others.
In fact, internet prices only increased slightly last year, well behind the overall rate of inflation in the whole economy. As many Americans’ digital habits continue to change and adapt in the face of the pandemic, price stability is crucial to keep students, families, and workers connected in these uncertain times.
Other segments of the economy, however, dramatically outpaced the rate of inflation. Thanks to supply chain issues and labor issues, the auto industry has been a major driver of inflation. In December 2021, the price of a used car shot up nearly 40% compared to the same time in 2020.
Supply chain disruptions, shipping delays, and a slew of other factors also led to the skyrocketing increase in the price of gasoline in the last year. Unfortunately for millions of Americans, that means the price to get to and from work has shot up. Fortunately, for those who have the flexibility to continue working from home, it means the price to connect has offered much more stability and consistency than the price of commuting.
As the economy continues to react to the sudden changes brought about by the pandemic, it is important that the price of broadband internet has stayed relatively consistent, especially as prices for other vital products and services have massively increased.