'It's crazy': Shoppers see slight decline in prices but not enough relief

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Friday, November 11, 2022
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Inflation continues to hit North Carolina shoppers hard.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Inflation is still hitting North Carolinians hard. Shoppers are paying more for food, gas, and a place to live.

"It's just, it's crazy. It's outrageous, how the prices are just drastically changing. You can't go to the grocery store and get what you used to get, because it cost," said Mikyia Musa.

New numbers released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics show consumer prices are up 7.7 %, but down from September's 8.2 %. There's been a drop in prices for used cars, medical care, clothing, and airfare.

Musa said she has noticed the slight decline, but wished the drop was in areas she needed most.

"I just went to the mall today, and I got to 60% off on a dress, but it's like, I can use that towards food. So that's kind of crazy how clothing is kind of getting cheaper. And then food is still more expensive, and should be the opposite," she continued.

NC State Economics Professor Michael Walden said we are seeing a dip in prices for discretionary items because most people can hold off on making those purchases.

"That's exactly what the Federal Reserve wants to see people saying, all right, I'm going to hold off on buying that new wardrobe. I'm going to hold off on taking that trip. I'm going to hold off on renting a bigger apartment and buying a new car, etc. That's exactly what they want to do. And again, that was encouraging today," Walden explained.

He said October's numbers point to positive signs inflation has peaked, while not out of the dark, certainly not as high as in previous months.

"I think a year from now we're talking, we're gonna be on the other side of this. I think the Federal Reserve a year from now will be cutting interest rates. I would expect inflation will be much, much lower. If we had a recession, people would be going back to work. So, I think there is a time limit on this," Walden added.

But the time can't come soon enough for families who are struggling to pay for the necessities, like groceries and gas. Gasoline prices are up by 17 % in the last year and food costs increased by 10 %.

A food giveaway today in North Raleigh brought out a few hundred people, demonstrating the need in the Triangle.

"We're seeing families that we haven't seen before, you know, people that have lost jobs, they have kids, and they really don't know, you know, how they're going to, you know, support their families," explained Dan Stevens, Director of Corporate Partnerships with Feed the Children.

Local food banks say the agencies they supply have seen a 40 percent increase in demand for their services.

RELATED: 'They're struggling': Food giveaway draws hundreds ahead of Thanksgiving