CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – A recent rise in inflation hits everyday Americans where it hurts most, the pocketbook. Some economists are saying it’s temporary, others are saying it’s a big threat, but people everywhere are being affected regardless of how long it might last.
Alex Simpson, owner of Simpson’s Eggs, is feeling the impact in his production costs at his farm in Monroe.
“Friends of mine have said, ‘Hey, man, you know, my feed is skyrocketing? Are y’all seeing the same thing?’ Yes, I think I think it’s nationwide,” Alex Simpson said.
Simpson might not be discussing production plans with his competition, but he has been commiserating about the price spikes thanks to recent inflation.
“When you go to increase in the cost of a dozen eggs to produce by 10, 15, 20 cents, you can pretty much eliminate the profits out of it really quickly,” Simpson explained, “We can’t take it forever. We’ll take it here for a little while. But sooner or later, it’s gonna have to trickle down to the consumer.”
And some of those costs already have trickled down to the consumer. The Labor Department reported the month of May’s consumer price increases had the highest jump since August of 2008.
“Farms produce the food. And it’s inevitable that it’s going to go from the farm dealing with the inflation to the actual consumer dealing with the inflation,” Simpson said.
But agricultural production isn’t alone in these huge price spikes, they’re all across the board. Congressman Ralph Norman, of Rock Hill, said this issue is hurting hard working Americans.
“People are feeling it at not just the gas pump, but at every level, from buying groceries to buying supplies,” Norman said.
Data shows airline fares are up by over 24%, clothes by 5.6%, and used cars and trucks by 7.4%. But where is the inflation coming from, and why now? Congressman Norman blames the Biden Administration.
“He can’t print money forever. And I asked the average American family, can you just spend money and not have any offsets and cuts? There is a limit to what you can do. And he doesn’t seem to understand that,” Norman said.
That’s not how the President sees it, referring to the success of his economic recovery plan and improved job growth.
“This is historic progress, pulling our country out of the worst crisis in 100 years, driven in part by our dramatic part in vaccination and beating back the pandemic,” President Biden said in a speech.
Economists are looking critically at Biden’s stimulus packages.
“It was passed in March, it was just short of $2 trillion. I think that the one a lot of people are questioning was that, to use a military analogy, a bridge too far?” said Dr. Michael Walden, Economics Professor North Carolina State.
Recovery from COVID is part of why prices are higher. More people out and about means increased consumer demand with limited supply. Employers can’t find workers, so they are offering better wages. Alex Simpson had to raise his minimum pay for entry level workers to $15 an hour to maintain help.
“Something’s got to give. We’ve got a crazy housing market right now. We’ve got incredibly low interest rates. And I think something’s got to give, you know, it just feels a lot like we’re setting up for an 08/09 again,” Simpson said.
Notes from the Federal Reserve’s June meeting are more positive with some saying the inflation rate is transitory.