NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Not since 1982 have we seen a surge in inflation like what was reported Thursday morning by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The first place most will notice the pinch is the grocery store. At Osborne’s Bi-Rite, most shoppers understand these prices reflect what it took for groceries to make it to their shelves.
Companies are paying more to transport goods and pass that cost on to local stores. Latest reports show gas prices increased by more than 49% from 2021.
Managers at Osborne’s say they’re thankful for the customers who continue to show their support, even though they could probably find cheaper options at other big-name chains.
Denise Ruiz is one manager who says the price of everything from health and wellness products has gone up.
Around the country the cost of dairy is up nearly 1%, meanwhile, meat prices have soared roughly 15% over the last year.
Ruiz says they too are just trying to keep up.
“It’s outrageous. We can’t get the product. Our companies are saying they can’t get containers for their products or labels for their product. I’ve never seen anything like it,” Ruiz said.
Ruiz says we’re no longer talking a change of just a few cents, but several dollars for the same groceries before the pandemic.
A recent study showed the average U.S. household now spends $250 more every month or $3,000 per year because of inflation.
Deb Wendorf, owner of On-Demand Solutions, says it’s not as simple as paying people more to keep up.
She says you have to imagine that employers are also faced with how to manage the rising cost of business.
“I don’t think anybody doesn’t want to pay people more, you just have to be able to balance what you’re paying in every aspect of your business just to keep the doors open,” Wendorf said.
Wendorf recommends employers take some of the burdens off employees.
“Can you provide them lunch? Can you offer something that allows them an easier commute time,” Wendorf said.
If it keeps workers happy, the hope is it keeps customers coming back. Even if it means spending more now for places like these to stick around.
“Sometimes it’s about more than just money. It’s about providing flexible work time. It’s about being a little more than just the place you show up to in the morning,” Wendorf said.
Some say the next step will be for the Federal Reserve to increase interest rates to bring inflation under control.
When interest rates climb, businesses and consumers usually cut back on spending, giving prices a chance to stabilize.