Posted On: Wednesday - May 10th 2023 5:23PM MST
In Topics:   Inflation
I can do this because I've kept records - checkbook "registers" - of my spending for a long time. This first data pair goes back to 1990. I'd bought a bunch of the same trees at one time and logged the quantity and price. Leyland Cypress trees in the 3 Gallon buckets cost $7.50 in 1990.* While shopping around for some other trees recently at the Farmer's Market, I saw these trees in the same size bucket for $20. That works out to a 3.0% average inflation rate on 3 G Leyland Cypress trees, with compounding.
(I wish I could check the Peach tree next to it, as I saw them now, bought them way back, but could not find an entry with one by itself from back in the day.)
Well, you plant these things, and they get huge and you have to cut them back down. That wasn't the case with the Leyland Cypresses though, but that was the case with the Sycamores. (Just don't do it! You get quick shade, but you'll grow no more grass, and those balls they drop will grow into the roof shingles.)
OK, that was just an attempt at a segue into the rental of hydraulic log splitters. A few years ago, I rented one from the very same outfit that I'd rented one from in the mid 1990s. In this case, I will say that it may not be completely apples-to-apples due to quality going up! Up? Whaaaa? Yeah, well the new ones are designed to tilt 90 degrees to let the user split logs right near the ground, in a vertical position. In the '90s, we used a 2 x 12 to roll them up, but I was not so keen on doing that more recently. Perfect timing!
The first time, the rental was $55, and 24 years later it was $125. That's 3.5% average inflation on (24 hour) log splitter rental, with compounding.
These 2 show an average inflation rate slightly below the 4.5% to 5.5% I've been getting a lot. One could get into the reasons here, fewer employees and illegal aliens at that, at the plant nurseries, relatively cheaper labor at the rental centers, I don't know.
I just post these ones because I don't trust that BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) "basket of goods and services". I don't know if that much of the difference I've seen is nefarious, but there are lots of ways to get creative with this accounting. (We have a number of posts on this, discussing "hedonics" and "substitution".)
We'll get back to South Africa and get in a movie review, and some D.I.E. fun. (Yes, that one will actually be fun.)