PITTSBURGH (CBS Pittsburgh) — You may have noticed a significant jump in prices at the grocery store. More and more grocery shoppers are experiencing sticker shock every day. The price of food — especially meat, fruit and vegetables — is going up.
“Food’s going out of sight. It is. It really is. Prices are ridiculous,” said Donna Gallager.
The consumer price index jumped 4.2 percent in April, the biggest spike in 13 years. But food shoppers say that’s not half of it. “I saw some apples they were $2.19 a pound,” said Ron Flucker. “You get two apples for that. That’s ridiculous.”
With the economy recovering, there’s a higher demand for items suddenly in short supply. Workers are now also demanding more pay to deliver them. Economists say it’s the perfect storm of factors that make the things you buy more expensive. “All of these things together have impacted the current situation with higher inflation than we had anticipated,” said Risa Kumazawa, an associate professor of economics at Duquesne University.
Jeff Cohen, a deli owner and meat wholesaler, said those factors are making the price of meat out of control. “They said on national news it’s 10 percent. But that’s not true. it’s probably closer 20, 30 percent,” Cohen said.
And professor Kumazawa said the economy is overheating. “When you realize this might be a longer-term issue than what we had thought, it might be too late to combat this problem,” Kumazawa said.
If this isn’t a temporary blip, inflation will continue to rise and the consumer will find it harder and harder to keep pace.