Online prices rise in August as food, apparel lead gains

Online inflation climbed in August compared with the same period year ago, led by rising food costs, according to Adobe Analytics.

The Adobe Digital Price Index shows that prices for groceries surged 14.1% compared with a year ago, its highest annual increase since tracked by Adobe started tracking the data. Grocery prices jumped 1.1% since July.

The cost of groceries rose for 31 straight months and “remains the only category to move in lockstep with the Consumer Price Index on a long-term basis,” according to Adobe.

The rise in grocery prices shows “no signs of abating,” Patrick Brown, vice president of growth marketing and insights at Adobe, said.

ONLINE PRICES FALL FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 2 YEARS

Consumers didn’t get any relief with apparel prices either. In August, the cost of apparel rose 4.9% year over year and jumped 8.7% from July due to slowing seasonal promotions, according to the data.

Meanwhile, personal care products rose 2.7% over the past year and 1.1% from the prior month.

Still, the data showed that consumer demand remains resilient.

“Consumer demand for e-commerce also remains steady and will keep prices elevated, especially for growing categories such as groceries, pet products, and other consumer staples,” said Brown.

An employee wearing a protective mask hands a shopping bag to a customer outside a Whole Foods Market Inc. store in Berkeley, California, on March 31, 2020. (David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images/Getty Images)

At the same time, some categories saw prices decline. The electronics category fell 10% from a year ago while the cost of computers, specifically, fell 12.6%.

AMID INFLATION, PEOPLE DESPERATE FOR CASH ARE TURNING TO PAWN SHOPS

Consumers collectively spent $64.6 billion online in August, a 6.5% increase compared with the same time last year.

Amazon facility employee Germany

An employee prepares a package for shipment at the Amazon logistics center in Suelzetal near Magdeburg, eastern Germany, on May 12, 2021. (Ronny Hartmann/AFP via Getty Images/Getty Images)

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In July, consumers spent roughly $73.7 billion, due to “Prime Day discounts that drove record sales for the retail industry overall,” according to Adobe.

July sales were a 20.9% increase over last year.

So far in 2022, shoppers have already spent $580 billion online, up 8.9% compared with a year ago.

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