" Other than normal inflation, anyone know the reasons for such drastic price increases? "
what's wrong with 10% a year ?
isn't that "normal " ?
because when you look at how many untold billions of fake dollars have been virtually printed and tossed into the circulation of our stagnant gnp economy, it does not take rocket science to see that each individual dollar now represents a narrow and ever shrinking slice of the value pie.
it's not even math, it's like .. arithmetic.
your currency is losing value, and this effect will become more and more dramatic as the symptom of the printed money fiasco feeds ever more ferociously upon itself.
give this a few years (at the most), and that 10% inflation rate is going to look like kiddy play, from back when the world was a kind and gentle place.
your money is not going back up in value. so, if you want cheap down, buy it now.