Halloween candy is getting a little scarier this year – about 13 percent scarier.
Those who prefer treat over trick will be paying 13.1 percent more than last year, according to the most recent inflation report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
It's the largest yearly jump in candy prices the CPI has ever recorded. (For comparison, it took nine years — from 1997 to 2006 — for candy prices to rise 13 percent.)
And the price of candy (along with chewing gum, which is in the same category) has risen 2 percent since August, one of the largest monthly increases of any food in the report.
Sweets of all kinds are costlier than last year, driven by major increases in the prices of sugar and flour. Sugar is up over 17 percent since last September. Supply chain disruptions and a poor beet sugar production year have all helped contribute. Flour prices have risen even more at 24 percent.
That's helped drive up the costs of cakes, cupcakes and cookies by 16 percent since last September. Frozen and refrigerated baked goods are up more than 20 percent.
Americans collectively are expected to spend about $3.1 billion on candy this season, according to the National Retail Federation, an industry trade group.
On a $15 bag of assorted Halloween-sized candies, a 13 percent increase comes out to about $2.
Costumes, too, may feel more expensive than usual.
While the CPI report does not specifically track costumes, the price of clothing has jumped 5.5 percent since last year. Those crafty enough to make handmade costumes will feel the pinch even more: Sewing machines, fabric and supplies are up 11 percent since last September.
Inflation overall has remained stubbornly high. Prices rose 8.2 percent for the 12 months ending in September, down slightly from last month but still much higher than the Federal Reserve's target of 2 percent.
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