Sticker shock: Is inflation here to stay?


WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Sticker shock just in time for the holiday season. Inflation continues to soar across the country.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows the consumer price index rose more than 6% from a year ago in October. That is the most since December 1990. Meat, poultry, fish, and eggs are up 12% year over year. Gas is up 59%.

An economics professor at WSU said it could be several years before we see inflation level off. For many, the higher cost of almost everything is starting to hurt financially.

“It’s just rougher when you and buy three bags of food, and it is over 100 bucks, it’s just too much,” said Elizabeth Hoover, who lives in Wichita.

Hoover is a single mother. She said shopping for her family has become a challenge.

“Less going out to eat, more saving. Budgeting is really different than it was just six months ago,” said Hoover.

“They developed all these stimulus policies that assumed a major shutdown of the economy and certain sectors were hit pretty hard but other sectors not much at all, and yet the stimulus funds were provided pretty much everywhere, so a lot of people had more money to spend than before,” said Dr. Ted Bolema, the executive director of the study of economic growth at WSU.

That money and supply chain issues, pumping up the price of many goods.

“I’m on Social Security and on a vet’s pension, so my fixed income is really hurting,” said Charlie Self, who lives in Wichita.

“A lot of our clients are questioning what they need to be doing to offset the up in prices they are thinking futuristically,” said Lori Hansen, a financial educator with Midwest Family Financial.

Hansen is encouraging her clients to plan ahead and be proactive with expenses.

“How money works and what options are available and tweaking to fit their needs,” said Hansen.

“I have a 4-year-old daughter, and Christmas is going to have to come regardless, and so is Thanksgiving, but you know you just have to cut corners on certain things,” said Hoover.

One economic expert said not to expect the same old Black Friday this season. Retailers, car dealerships and other big box stores have scaled back plans in part to the ongoing supply chain issues.

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