Food, housing prices on the rise

Consumer Price Index not affecting gas prices

By Elizabeth Campbell - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - If it feels like everyday costs are starting to rise, it's because they are.

The Consumer Price Index, or CPI, rose point two percent in March, slightly higher than economists had forecast.

That may not seem like a lot, but many people are really feeling the pinch when it comes to groceries and housing.

Many of you are probably wondering why your grocery bill has been more expensive lately. It's because grocery prices are rising. Products seeing the biggest price increases are beef, milk and vegetables.

"Part of it is that global demand is pushing the price of beef up so the grocery store is one area where everyone has definitely seen it," said Joe Krier.

Financial expert Joe Krier said March's point two percent increase of the consumer price index is hitting people harder than they might expect.

Aside from the price of groceries rising, the cost of shelter is going up as well. On the positive side, Krier thinks housing and rental costs have reached their plateau. He said home construction has been going up the past two years since the real estate market bottomed out.

"We went from a situation where housing was extremely inexpensive on a regular basis, it was basically catching up to a long time trend now we're kind of there," said Krier.

Other price increases include medical care, clothing and airline fares.

One area where we're not feeling the pinch is at the gas pump, with decreases in gas and fuel oil offsetting increases in electricity and natural gas.

Krier said hopefully the price increases won't continue for too long, saying wages aren't increasing, so prices can only go so high.

"One of the largest components of inflation outside of CPI is wages and we haven't seen much wage inflation and it's hard for prices to keep going up when people's incomes are not going up," said Krier.

Krier said even though the Consumer Price Index rose higher than expected, it wasn't enough for the federal reserve to start raising rates, which he said is a good sign for our economy.

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