Inflation, stumbling stock market impacts shoppers

Food shortages and price increases will continue to get worse. A stock market expert believes it will continue like this – or worsen – until possibly 2024.

ATLANTA — Target, Walmart, and Costco have all announced major quarterly losses, sending the stock market tumbling. So what’s the lasting impact of inflation and how will it affect your wallet?

Cedric Green, who was sitting at a Publix parking lot said he’s already been feeling it in his wallet.

“Every time I go to a Walmart, I look at the shelf, it makes me want to walk right back out the store,” he said. “The economy is just woof!”

Green said he’s had to budget, save money, and even wait to get another paycheck before spending on high-end grocery items he used to buy on the spot.

“In the past it was a no brainer, you just buy it and you good, but now you have to think twice,” he recalled. “You have to be manageable with the money that you have.” 

Unfortunately for Green and all other Americans, this could be just the beginning.

Supply chain expert and professor Robert Handfield said you could see soaring prices and item shortages until at least 2023, possibly even 2024.   

“We’re seeing some shortages related to the pandemic in China, which is, in fact, in the electronics sector,” he said. “So there’s going to be shortages of computers and phones, because of the shutdown there.” 

Handfield is North Carolina State University‘s Executive Director of Supply Chain Resource Cooperative and Bank of America University Distinguished Professor of Operations and Supply Chain Management.

An iPhone upgrade, for example, could take a longer time to get in the coming months. Handfield explained there’s also a semiconductor chip shortage among us, too.

“They’re in cars. They’re in thermostats, they’re in refrigerators and so, we’re seeing very long lead times on certain kinds of semiconductors. As a result, we’re likely going to see shortages of any kind of electronics that use chips in them as well,” he added.

RELATED: US consumer prices soared 7% in past year, most since 1982

On top of this, the Russia and Ukraine war has already caused shortages on wheat and barley. That could get worse in the coming months.

You could see prices going up for bread, pasta, sunflower seed oil used for cooking and food processing, and breakfast cereals as a result.

“You might have to buy a substitute product other than your favorite product at the shelf. So these are problems that retailers are continuing to deal with, and are likely to have gonna have to continue to deal with as well,” Handfield said.

Green said he’s been doing that for quite some time already, to try and save some money over time.

RELATED: VERIFY: Is the Russia-Ukraine conflict causing a food shortage in the U.S.?

“It seems like its doubling – prices are more than doubling since before the pandemic came. So it’s everywhere. Its getting outrageous,” he said.

Handfield said prices won’t necessarily double. Instead, you’ll more likely see a 9% increase in prices compared to what you normally would pay.

“Be aware that it’s going to cost more. I think people are going to start asking for raises to be able to catch up and keep up with that,” Handfield said.

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