Halloween Prices are Scary

31 Oct

Halloween Prices are Scary

In covering inflation it is almost expected that we report on the cost of the traditional Thanksgiving dinner.   And we probably will in a month or so.

But we just happened to notice the rising cost of Halloween candy.  This year it is up by an unlucky 13 percent.  

Consumer prices in the Phoenix area just happen to have risen 13 percent over the past year as well.  It’s our bad luck here that that is the fastest inflation rate in the entire nation.

The Labor Department says that this year’s increase in candy is the largest ever.  According to the Wall Street Journal, it boils down to “surging labor costs and skyrocketing flour and sugar prices.”

The National Retail Federation says that the average household will spend about $100 on Halloween items this year.  That includes candy, decorations, and even costumes.  In 2015, that amount was only $74.

But back to candy. “Starburst and Skittles have had the biggest price increases—35 and 42 percent, respectively, since last year, reports the Journal.  “Crunch and Butterfinger bars saw the lowest price increases of 6 and 7 percent respectively.”

But the worst trick in buying a treat is the incredible shrinking candy bar.  That is the one that keeps getting smaller each year, but is packaged with a lot of cardboard to make it appear the same size as before.  

So, what explains it all?  Whatever did happen to the nickel candy bar?  

We think you know the answer.  It’s not that candy has gone up in price so much as it is that the dollar is losing purchasing power.

The chart above shows the decline in dollar purchasing power since the US severed the thin link of the currency to gold in 1971.  The dollar has been down ever since, and it is not going up.

And that is why people buy gold!