Why prices are rising – and when they could go back down
FORT MYERS, Fla. — Lately, it seems like just about everything we buy is costing us more.
For starters, gas prices have hit nearly $3 per gallon in Fort Myers.
“I like to shop around, but at the same time you have to accept that if you need the gas, you gotta get the gas,” Daniel Bevarly said while at the pump.
The price of a vehicle itself is also on the rise. Analysts say used car prices in particular are up about 20% over the past year.
Price hikes have also hit grocery stores — specifically the meal coolers. The USDA says beef prices are up 10% over the past 12 months.
“Everything I buy, it’s more today. You know. A lot more,” Laura Robinson said outside a store.
Home prices have skyrocketed in the region as well, and so too has the price of lumber needed to build homes.
Those are just a few of the things rising in price right now.
“Sort of a perfect storm is kind of a good way of putting (it),” FGCU economics professor Amir Neto described to NBC2.
Neto said it isn’t just one factor that’s driving up prices, and it isn’t only related to politics. Everything from cyber attacks, to stimulus money, to a labor shortage are all playing a role in the current situation.
In short, the demand for things is currently greater than the supply as our economy recovers from a global pandemic.
“For some industries, it was like this oven that we cooled down, that we turned off,” Neto explained. “We need to turn that on, and it takes a while for the oven to reheat to the same level we had before.”
Neto said we shouldn’t panic. He expects, in many cases, that the price hikes will be temporary. But exactly when things will level out is difficult to say.
“As restrictions decrease (and) people return to the labor force, the supply chain disruptions should also start to ease and we should see an uptick in supply,” Neto explained. “Which should help us return to a lower price level.”
“I think it’s all part of the challenge that we have of getting back to business again,” Bevarly said.
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