'I have felt the pinch': Inflation rate slows down but customers still struggle

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Posted at 5:21 PM, Jan 12, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-12 19:50:17-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Inflation has slowed down a tad, but the central bank is still expected to raise interest rates next month.

Prices have dropped from November to December, which is something Grace Rodrizguez has noticed while shopping. However, most consumers are still struggling.

"I have felt the pinch going to the grocery stores, I’m not buying as much, I’m not buying. I’m not doing that anymore. This is what I need. This is what I’m going to buy period, and I make a list now when I never did before," Rodrizguez said.

Carolyn Banning said while some prices are better, other items are still expensive.

"Eggs! I went to the store and usually, I can get them for $2.35 cents. It was like $4.25 cents," Banning said

The inflation rate slowed in December to 6.5%, but it's still high.

"Now to be honest, we pumped a lot of money into the economy in 2020, so we have to pay the price for that," said Julio Rivas at Lipscomb University.

On the bright side, Rivas said that as an economist, he’s hopeful things will get better.

“Rates might keep going up but at a lower pace,” Rivas said, “Which means 25 basis points, is that good? Well you know, obviously we don’t really like rates to go up, if rates go up the likelihood of a recession, or of a slowdown of economic activity, goes up as well."

Rivas said people should still be cautious though.

"Just be careful, things are still more expensive than what they were, and this is going to continue for a while,” Rivas said. “And I know salaries haven’t been catching up, yet the job market is still very strong."

For now, Grace is going to cross her fingers for a better economy in 2023.

"It’s difficult, but I think we’re going to get through, I have faith," Rodriguez said.

According to AAA, Tennessee's average gas price today is under $3 a gallon which is below the national average.