GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - The U.S. Labor Department said Thursday that consumer prices jumped 7.5% last month compared with a year earlier, affecting all goods and services.
Families are struggling with rising costs from diapers to snacks, and are making sacrifices to stay on budget.
“You definitely have to stretch a buck farther than you’ve expected,” James Trimble, a Pitt County father of two said.
From December 2020 to December 2021, the consumer price index rose for meat and eggs in the double digits, and it’s forecasted to rise even higher this year.
As Trimble shops for his family, he notices a rise in “meat, the pampers, clothes, everything. You have to budget stuff and you have to be on top of it.”
The inflation rate increase seen across the countries is the highest price jump seen in four decades.
Some parents are having to shift their spending to make ends meet.
“Snacks and stuff you can hold out on, maybe get a lower brand of this snack and stretch the buck,” Trimble said, “but you definitely have to have Pampers, wipes, and clothes.”
Trimble’s family saves money where they can by utilizing free resources like the playground at Town Common in Greenville, but more financial challenges loom on the horizon.
“I don’t think any family, no matter how well-off they are, could support one child educationally right now,” Lauren Freeman, a childcare provider and student said.
At the end of the day, Trimble says of his kids, “We’ll make sure they are taken care of first.”
Meanwhile, some economists see a chance to regulate the surge.
“At this point, I am cautiously optimistic that we will get this under control like we did in the past,” said Dr. Haiyong Liu, East Carolina University Economics Department chair said.
Eyes turn now to the federal government, which may decide to raise the key rate in March by one-half of a percentage point. Typically, it is a quarter-point hike.
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