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Slowing Inflation is Music to Consumers’ Ears

Instrument Pricing Changes Tune Amid Record Inflation

Compared to 2022, consumers should expect to pay more for musical instruments, but the rate of inflation shows signs of slowing.

The backstory: America’s most popular musical instruments saw a notable price increase in 2022 compared to 2021, but the rate of inflation eased in Q4 ’22.

Why it matters: Slowing inflation within this product category could indicate economic pressures like increased demand, rising labor costs, and supply chain disruptions are easing across the consumer landscape.

What we’re seeing: The average cost of musical instruments increased 7.5% from 2021 – 2022; however, when analyzing individual increases year over year, some instruments saw price increases as high as 21%.

  • Trombones experienced a 21.73% increase compared to 2021
  • Trumpets +20.08%
  • Flutes +18.6%
  • Recorders +16.13%
  • Saxophones +13.63%
  • Clarinets +10.55%
  • Drums +5.41%
  • Ukuleles +5.17%

However: Inflation among these same instruments was significantly less in Q4 ’22 compared to Q4 ’21. In some cases, prices decreased from Q4 ’21 – Q4 ‘22:

  • Trombones +11.23%
  • Flutes +10.41%
  • Saxophones +5.94%
  • Clarinets +5.59%
  • Trumpets +3.10%
  • Recorders +2.85%
  • Drums -2.59%
  • Ukuleles -8.46%

Moreover: Certain instruments saw inflation reverse in 2022. On average, prices for melodicas, guitars, and violas saw their prices decrease by 4.41%, 3.19%, and 0.97%, respectively.

Diving Deeper: Inflation was more significant when comparing Q4 ’21 to Q4 ’20 than when comparing Q4 ’22 to Q4 ’21, indicating a slowing down of price increases for consumers.

  • In Q4 ’21, average prices for all instruments were up 8.89% compared to Q4 ’20.
  • When comparing Q4 ’22 to Q4 ’21, the average price for all instruments only increased by 2.65%.

The takeaway: While consumers should expect to pay higher prices for instruments this year, overall inflation impact within this product category appears to be slowing down. With National Ukulele Day coming up on February 2, now is a great time for ecommerce brands to take advantage of slowing economic worries and reach new consumers.

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