Online Prices Down 2.6% in June vs. 2022

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Online prices are moderating but still significantly higher than pre-pandemic (credit: Markus Winkler on Unsplash)

Online prices fell 2.6% in June compared to a year ago, the largest drop since May 2020 and slightly more  than in May, according to the latest data from the Adobe Digital Price Index, as overall inflation has moderated but the cost of consumer goods is still far above pre-pandemic levels.

Adobe reported that 11 of the 18 categories it tracks saw prices decline in June vs. a year earlier, with overall online prices down sequentially by 1.3% compared to May. Discounting to clear out overstocks was likely a major factor in the index decline, while companies also priced goods in line with consumer sentiment during a challenged economy.

The largest price drops noted by Adobe in June were in consumer electronics, down 12.9% from 2022 and 2.3% from May, computers, (-16.9% and -2.5%) and appliances (-8.3% and -1.3%).

If you can call a slower increase a positive, there was some relief for weary consumers in the cost of online groceries, a category that has completely blown up, inflation-wise, since 2020. Prices rose 7.6% in June, Adobe reported, compared to an 8.2% spike the prior month. Year-over-year price increases for online groceries have been decelerating since September, when they were at a record high, the company said.

Overall grocery prices were flat in June, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, but up 4.7% year-over-year.

Pet products, another area of intense consumer spending especially since the lockdowns, has similarly seen price increases moderate. Online prices for pet products rose 8.1% in June, according to Adobe, which only looks good compared to a 10.2% spike in May and an 11.3% increase in April. Rover and Frisky never had it so good as pet spending is one area that doesn’t appear to suffer from inflation blowback.

Nationally, inflation grew at just 0.2% sequentially from May to June, according to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, excluding food and energy. It was the lowest rate increase since August 2021. The year-over-year increase in the CPI was 3%, the lowest gain since March 2021. But since January 2020, the seasonally adjusted inflation rate has soared 17%.