How inflation is impacting Springfield residents

Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The cost of living is on the rise. The Labor Department says consumer prices jumped 6.2% in the past year, the highest inflation rate since 1990. 

In the month of October alone, the average cost of goods increased .08%. OzarksFirst spoke with a Springfield economist about how the price jump will impact local shoppers. 

Dr. David Mitchell an Economics professor at Missouri State University says those numbers lead him to believe inflation will likely get much worse before it gets better. 

“If they’re rising at a rate of almost 1% a month over a 12 month time period, that’s a whole lot more than 6%, so you see that’s why it’s getting worse and worse, not better and better,” says Dr. Mitchell. 

The report from the Labor Department shows overall grocery prices jumped 5.4% in the last year. 

Meat prices are up, with beef roast soaring 24.9% and bacon increasing 20.2%. Staples like eggs (up 11.6%) and coffee (up 4.7%) are also on the rise. 

The new government figures also show furniture prices increased 12% in the last year, while new cars jumped nearly 10%, which is the largest one year increase since 1975. 

You’ve likely noticed gas prices have also skyrocketed, rising about 50% in the past 12 months. 

That’s leading to sticker shock for some Springfield shoppers, including Johnnie Collins. 

“Fast food, I’m a big fast food eater, I’ve noticed that’s went up. Toilet paper of course. There’s one brand that I stick with, but it’s usually out, so I’ve noticed that costs more,” says Collins.” 

She says prices at check out are beginning to impact her spending habits. 

“I’m learning how to budget for the first time in my life, yes. I’m writing everything down and using my calculator in the store to make sure I don’t go over,” she adds. 

Supply chain slowdowns and current prices mean Americans will be spending more on Thanksgiving dinner this year. Nearly everything it takes to make the typical holiday feast is pricier. 

President Biden has told citizens recent inflation has been caused by supply chain slowdowns as millions of dollars worth of holiday presents and other goods are stuck on giant container ships waiting to unload at the country’s busiest ports. 

Dr. Mitchell says the cargo backlog is to blame, but he says it’s also due to the government flooding the country with money in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“So you have the Fed printing money left and right and you also have the federal government giving out money left and right…and I’m not saying that those things weren’t justified…what I’m saying is that there’s no way you can just give people all that money and not expect them to spend it. And when they spend it, it leads to inflation,” says Dr. Mitchell. 

Dr. Mitchell says Americans who feel they now have more money in their pocket are looking to make big purchases, but manufacturers aren’t able to keep up. 

So while President Biden and many consumer analysts say price increases should start to settle down as shipping companies work through their backlog, Dr. Mitchell says he believes it could take years before Americans see stable prices again. 

“People’s mindsets have kind of changed too. That’s why I don’t think it’s going to get squeezed out in 2 months’ time. I don’t think it’s going away any time soon. I think it’s going to be around for a while,” Dr. Mitchell adds. 

To see the latest inflation numbers from the Department of Labor Statistics, click here

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