With the results in for last week's Birinyi Poll question -- Which component of the CPI (other than fuels) do you personally find to have inflated the most in price over the past year? -- let's take a look at what our respondents thought.
As you can see, there wasn't a runaway winner (note that we removed fuel as an option, despite the fact that it is indeed a component in CPI), but it looks as though our respondents are feeling the pinch of rising health care costs -- a subject that has received relatively little press when compared to the recent energy and real estate booms. Speaking of real estate, the "cooling" of the housing market apparently hasn't been enough to assauge the stress on 21% of our respondents' wallets, which may reflect the recent spike in rental prices.
Transportation, of course, has been affected heavily by the oil crisis, as airlines and rail have increased rates due not just to rising fuel costs, but also (some contend) the opportunity to hike prices as the cost of alternative road travel has skyrocketed.
For the sake of comparison, let's take a look at the actual YOY % price changes for each of these components and see how the results differ from our respondents' "anecdotal" takes:
Keep in mind that the low number of poll responses for "Transportation" relative to the actual inflation of this component could be attributable to our request to ignore fuels.