inflation challenges

Shoppers React to US Inflation Reaching 40-Year High in June

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“Butter is really expensive. I never really paid attention and now, it’s like so much more,” said Pat Downs of Granby, while loading her groceries into her car in West Hartford.

Even bread and butter items at the grocery store are more expensive these days. Our wallets have all felt it.

Prices of almost everything are soaring, and new numbers prove just that, showing shoppers paid sharply higher prices in June.

The Consumer Price Index released Wednesday soared more than 9% from a year ago, marking a 40-year high.

“It’s like you’re used to certain things and then you go in there and see the prices are so drastically different. You kind of have to readjust your thinking about planning your menus. What are you buying, what are you storing?” Downs said.

Shoppers we spoke to Wednesday were watching what they buy, store hopping for better deals, or getting creative with their go-to dinner menus.

“We definitely try to look for a cheaper alternative of something if they offer it,” said Jackie Martone of West Hartford.

“Things are definitely expensive. Yeah, we’ve talked about the way that we eat a little bit, just as far as, you know, trying to make it a little more affordable,” said Callie Carey of Farmington.

Mark Hamrick analyzes the economy and financial markets.

“We've all been painfully aware that inflation is too high,” said Hamrick, a senior economic analyst for Bankrate.

He said this latest Consumer Price Index, which measures changes in the cost of goods, is even higher than what was expected.

“If we're looking at what's causing this inflation, there are plenty of troublemakers to go around, but I'd say on the most wanted list, or most unwanted list, and that respect, is gasoline prices and energy prices," Hamrick said.

Shelter and food are also high on that list, he said.

Hamrick’s outlook for the future, “It may well be that we are experiencing peak inflation right now, that's only something we'll know in the rearview mirror. But even if we do put peak inflation behind us, inflation will likely still be high for some time to come.”

“We are seeing some trends within the core rate, in other words, excluding food and energy, are beginning to look as if they may have topped out and so if we could start seeing those levels come down, that would give us some reason for hope," he continued.

While we’re all impacted, AARP Connecticut is keeping a watchful eye on their 600,000 members in Connecticut, many of whom rely on a couple of prescriptions.

Nola Duncan, state director of AARP CT, said the good news is that for folks on fixed incomes, the cost of living for social security went up and is expected to go higher next year.

But she said this is all at the same time all other costs have gone up, too - a topic lots of shoppers NBC Connecticut we spoke to had opinions about.

“And I find I am going to more places to shop now, so I can get the best deals wherever they are. Which is a pain because I don’t like grocery shopping,” Downs said.

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