Midlands families pay more for Labor Day barbecues amid historic inflation

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) – Families in the Midlands are paying more for their late summer meals this year.

The data of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics show that year after year, overall food prices have increased by more than 11%. This represents the largest increase in food prices since 1979.

Some customers in the Midlands shopping for last-minute items for Labor Day celebrations on Monday said they had started bargain-hunting and changing their spending habits.

Data from tech firm Numerator shows that more than half of consumers say they expect inflation to impact their Labor Day plans.

Buyers like Pamela Brown, a Columbia resident, said they hoped prices would start to come down soon.

“Hopefully things will get a lot better,” she said. “It’s still like sticker shock, but you know, you come in, I mean you have no choice but to keep doing what you have to do.”

Vercal Kirby said she prioritized buying the food she needed, not the food she wanted.

“I don’t know who makes the money,” she said. “It’s not us. You know, and I don’t see any disruption in food right now.

Price increases are felt the most in the meat department, with overall meat and poultry prices up 11% from the same time last year, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. the United States. Other strong increases included eggs, which were up 38%, and items like bread and cereal, which were up 15%.

“We’re doing pretty well as long as prices don’t go up,” said Columbia buyer Andre Davis.

He said inflationary pressures weren’t hitting him and his wife, “too bad” because each of them is working.

Davis said he and his family cut back on summer vacation this year to save money elsewhere.

“We went on vacation, but it wasn’t the usual few days, week-long type vacations and stuff like that,” he said.

A recent survey by the New York Federal Reserve suggested that consumers expect prices to eventually come down. The Fed has taken aggressive steps to curb inflation, including raising interest rates.

This survey might suggest that many view the recent price spike as a temporary situation and not the new normal.

“There was a lot of mixed reactions when it came to raising interest rates, but I guess they did it knowing the outcome would benefit most Americans, so hopefully for the better,” Brown said.

Other buyers are more skeptical.

“I don’t see any relief anywhere, I don’t see it,” Kirby said. “Gas is still up even though it’s been down a bit, a bit, but it’s still up.”

Gas prices in Colombia have fallen nearly 60 cents over the past three months, according to GasBuddy, which tracks gas prices daily. However, they are still more than 50 cents higher than they were a year ago.

Several Midlands shoppers told WIS the relief at the pump isn’t doing them much good as it isn’t translating to the grocery store.

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