By Christopher Goins
When Obama entered the White House in January 2009, the city average price for one gallon of regular unleaded gasoline was $1.79, according to the BLS. (The figures are in nominal dollars: not adjusted for inflation.) Five months later in June, unleaded gasoline was $2.26 per gallon, an increase of 26 percent. By December 2011, the price of regular unleaded gas per gallon was $3.28, an 83 percent increase from January 2009.
The price of unleaded gasoline never reached the 10-year high of $4.09 back in July 2008 under George W. Bush’s administration, but it did get close.
By May 2011, gas prices hit a high under the Obama administration at $3.93, about four percentage points away from the July 2008 high.
The U.S. city average retail price for one pound of 100 percent ground beef was $2.36 in January 2009. As of December 2011, that price had risen to $2.92—a 23.7 percent increase and a new peak. (Ground beef prices have risen every month since November 2009 – 26 months of price increases.)
Whole wheat bread prices from January 2009 to December 2011 increased about five percent (5.02 percent) from $1.97 to $2.07. (The inflation rate in December 2011 was 3.0 percent.)
Among the first 36 months of Obama’s presidency, the last four (September, October, November, December) showed the average price of one pound of whole wheat bread hovering slightly above two dollars.
Other refrigerated items like ice cream and bacon have increased by substantial amounts.
Ice cream prices, for a half-gallon, were $4.44 in January 2009 and $5.25 in December 2011, an increase of 19.1 percent.
One pound of sliced bacon in January 2009 was $3.73 and in December 2011 had climbed $4.55, an increase of 22 percent. The price hit a high in September 2011 at $4.82 per pound.
Whole milk prices averaged above three dollars 33 out of the 36 months since Obama took office. In January 2009, the price for one gallon of whole milk was $3.58; but by December 2011, milk prices had slightly declined less than one percent (0.28 percent) to $3.57 per gallon.
The average retail price of Grade A eggs per dozen from January 2009 to December 2011 increased by less than two percent (1.30 percent) from $1.85 to $1.87.