Local shoppers share concerns as inflation reaches 40-year high

We brought their concerns to a local professor to find out why the price of pretty much everything is going through the roof.
Published: Jun. 14, 2022 at 10:20 PM EDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - Inflation is at a 40-year high, and it has been affecting people’s lives.

As grocery bills get more expensive, people are starting to become concerned for their household budgets. We caught up with grocery shoppers who told us the prices are up, and it is causing them to change their habits.

We brought their concerns to a local professor to find out why the price of pretty much everything is going through the roof.

“It’s been tough!” said Sabrina Galindez of Chicopee.

Consumers are desperate for relief as prices continue to rise on everyday items.

“Prices of bread went up really, like a significant amount, and turkey and cheese and stuff like that’s been going up, too,” Maxwel Maddox of Springfield told us.

“Even mayonnaise,” Galindez added. “A little thing like this was $5. I actually was like, ‘No. I need it, but I’m not going to buy it!”

Shoppers told Western Mass News that they have had to shift their habits to make ends meet.

“You have to pick and choose what you want to do,” Galindez said. “Your bills are important. Your light, your gas are important. Those are two things you really need, and then it’s like, okay, next thing is food. And it’s like the three things you really need are becoming so much harder.”

“I just bought three cases of water,” Maharai Lowe of Springfield said. “That has to last us for a while because they are high-priced.”

“It’s just more about money management,” Maddox added. “I became more aware of my money and where it’s going to, so I did take some things and precautions to make sure my gas is all set and everything else, making sure my family’s all set.”

They all had one question:

“Why are the prices skyrocketing like they are?” Lowe asked.

Economics Professor at Western New England University Karl Petrick said there are several factors that play a role, including high oil prices due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as well as a bad crop season.

“On top of, what’s, I don’t know, stage 50 of COVID, where China shut down,” Professor Petrick explained. “Supply chain problems, not because of congestion, but because nothing was leaving China, so all of these things combined were still seeing periods of very high inflation at a time where we were expecting inflation prices to start, not falling, but get down more to the range we were expecting.”

He said he thinks the shift in buying habits could become permanent.

“It’s really doubtful that any of us are going to go back to our old spending patterns even after this finishes because we’ve gotten used to being really careful with our money, really careful with our spending, and this, of course, is a demand-side problem for the economy in terms of growth,” Professor Petrick told us.

Unfortunately, Professor Petrick said he does not see these high prices changing anytime soon, anticipating more turmoil in the markets.