Inflation still high, people spending record amounts


The holiday season is here, and that means one thing to a lot of people; going shopping and buying or making gifts. Prices are at an all-time high, forcing almost everyone to think twice as hard before making a purchase of holiday gifts for family and friends. These high prices are influenced by the possibility of the lack of goods, lack of transportation or an overall shortage of employees for businesses. Even though today’s prices are so high, individuals are still shopping the normal way they would. 

This year, according to Forbes Advisor, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) percentage had increased overall to 7.7%. This was compared to last year’s consumer prices, and the difference is impressively noticeable. While this was nationwide, in Pittsburgh the CPI is up 0.3%, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

“The high prices are going to make everything cost more, and I’m not sure if I am going to be able to buy more gifts for people because they are so expensive,” senior Ethan Geibel said. “It’s really going to limit how many presents I give to people and the quality of them.” 

The process of “going out” to shop isn’t cheap either. Prices at the pump are still decently higher than in past years. The national average cost per gallon of gas is $3.26. Though, due to gas taxes in Pennsylvania, the average for the state is $3.75 per gallon. This year’s prices are still higher than last year’s average at this time of year, which came to about $3.01 per gallon. The Pennsylvania state average that year was $3.56 per gallon. All of these gas prices are for the regular unleaded gas. 

Not only do shoppers have to deal with inflation on goods and high gas prices, but they also have to deal with the cost of groceries, in general. The average cost for all groceries is up 0.6%, according to NBC News. Meats, poultry, eggs and fish have also risen 0.4% from previous months. That means that getting items for holiday meals with family members and friends will also impact the amount of money consumers will spend during the month. 

Every American is going to struggle with making decisions on which gifts to purchase and how many they need to or can get for those in their lives. The longer people go out shopping, the more gas they will use. People would not only be using more gas to drive to many different stores, but they would also be using gas waiting in lines of traffic. Shoppers this year need to be more aware of the money that they will be spending for the holidays.