LYNCHBURG, Va. – Supply and demand—that’s what’s driving inflation on everything from gas pumps to produce.
You may notice you’re dishing out more money every time you step outside.
“[I notice it] wherever I go, to the gas station, grocery store, restaurants, the whole shebang,” said David Moses, of Lynchburg, Virginia.
“I’m trying to stretch foods, and [make] groceries trips longer and in between because I’m trying to save money,” said Kate Drumheller, also of Lynchburg.
The Consumer Price Index climbed 5.4% in September compared to this time last year. Experts say the inflation is a result of supply chain issues and a demand from the pandemic.
“It’s not really because of the pandemic, but the increased demand is because the pandemic seems to be getting better, and we’re starting to see demand rise to the pre-pandemic level. So, we’re feeling a double whammy,” said Nancy Hubbard, dean of School of Business at the University of Lynchburg.
Tom Hayman, the owner of Grains of Sense in Lynchburg, said his costs increased 15% and his concerns for serving supplies are brewing.
“Trying to find brand new plastic bottles has been challenging. We’ve been waiting since September for glass bottles that we use for our cold brew that we serve here. So, we’ve been forced to use plastic cups, which are in short supply,” said Hayman.
Inflation is pushing pump prices, too. AAA spokesman Morgan Dean said drivers are paying some of the highest rates since 2014.
He added that the main factor is a demand for crude oil, which makes up 50% to 60% of what you pay.
“Right now, crude oil is selling for approve $80 a barrel. Back in August , it was selling for right around $60 a barrel. A year ago, at this time in a very different world, it was selling for about $40 a barrel.”
And inflation is expected to continue through the holidays.
“I don’t see it getting any better, especially because demand will go up during that time frame, and supply doesn’t seem to be getting any better,” said Hubbard.