Inflation rises to 6.2% in October in biggest surge since 1990

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) — Your Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas shopping will cost you more this year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics announced inflation is up 6.2% since last October.

That’s about triple the typical yearly increase, experts say.

Gas prices are up, and that’s not all. You’ve probably noticed you’re paying more at the grocery store.

ROBINSON 12: “Many of these price changes are dramatic in the short term, but are coming up from low levels during the pandemic,” said John Robinson, a business professor at Viterbo University in La Crosse.

These changes might feel painful after a year of lows. In 2020, the inflation rate averaged at just 1.2%. This rise to 6.2% marks the biggest 12-month jump since 1990.

“In terms of the big, broad picture—there are a few major things that we know tend to lead to inflation in the future,” Robinson said.

Causes include supply chances, the government’s increased deficit, high energy costs and increased wages.

“If people have greater incomes from the jobs that they do, the things that are produced from that work will tend to be more expensive because it costs more to make them,” Robinson said.

But the wage increases don’t always make up for the costs.

Beef costs are up 20%, furniture costs rose 12% and car costs increased 10%.

Inflation and its effects are impacting local businesses, too. Terry Bauer, executive director of Downtown Mainstreet in La Crosse, says it affects them less.

“The pipeline is pretty good for small businesses. That’s been a positive. One way to get around it is to shop local,” Bauer said.

With the holidays just around the corner, Robinson has this advice: “Buying things now would be a little better than buying things later.”

An Associated Press report finds that inflation probably last as long as companies struggle to keep up with consumer demand. One economist speculates that the rate will come down, but it will remain higher than historical norms.

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