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It may seem that everywhere you turn, costs are going up. Earlier this year, Chipotle raised its menu prices by about 4 percent. Food products were 2.4 percent more expensive in June 2021 than in June 2020. Used cars are creeping toward the typical tag of a new car, and rent prices are up 7.5 percent nationwide.
“We’re currently seeing price increases across the major segments that impact consumers’ wallets,” Henrique Aveiro, director of machine learning and AI at Insite AI, told The Epoch Times. Insite AI helps consumer goods manufacturers and brands with revenue cycle management and decision-making using artificial intelligence.
“The only food subcategory that had declining prices was cereals and bakery products,” Aveiro said.
Looking a little further down the line can also spark concern. PepsiCo reported its intent to raise prices in 2021. Toymakers Hasbro and Mattel echoed plans to increase prices during the second half of the year. Whirlpool’s appliances will get stickers with increases between 5 and 12 percent.
“Our data shows that inflation will grow more over the next couple of months as businesses recoup their pandemic losses,” Aveiro said.
While the rising prices may seem to indicate tough financial times ahead, knowledge of the causes behind the hikes can be powerful.
Inflation and Price Increases
Over the course of time, the cost of goods and services rarely remain steady. Prices typically rise approximately 2 or 3 percent from year to year during periods of low inflation. There have been times when inflation has caused prices to climb quickly, such as by 5 or 10 percent, from one year to the next. Occasionally prices fall too, which is known as deflation.
Pandemic-related lockdowns created disruption across the globe, shaking up supply chains, causing labor shortages, and spurring increases in the costs of commodities and employee wages. Lockdowns have also led to unique trends in the way people travel, work, shop, and spend their time and dollars. “There is no other contemporary period in history where we have seen so many major consumer habit shifts,” Aveiro said.
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Even as the economy looks ahead to post-pandemic times, levels of uncertainty and supply difficulties remain. “Gas, vehicles, and transportation services are now recovering and with that comes a larger price tag,” Aveiro said. As workers return to their offices, the increased demand for gas could push prices to climb; airfare may also continue to creep upward in the months to come.
Buying Versus Waiting
Large purchases such as homes can trigger extra stress when prices are climbing.
“Some buyers are being priced out of their desired areas,” Nicole Serviss, a realtor in the Seattle area, told The Epoch Times.
“In some cases, it’s better to overpay for a home now just to guarantee you’ll be able to buy one, than to wait,” she said.
If your timeline is flexible, however, you may decide to home shop next year to evaluate prices. You’ll also want to consider interest rates on mortgages and monthly payments to see if the amount fits into your budget.
For other large-ticket items like autos, it may be worthwhile to compare the price of a used model against a new version. You might find there are benefits to purchasing a new vehicle if the price difference between new and used is minimal. If you don’t immediately need a car, it may be valuable to wait until next year to allow time for the supply of cars to catch up to the market demand and potentially bring down prices.
Everyday goods like groceries and household items may require a shift in your budget.
“Meats, poultry, fish, and eggs have seen accelerating price increases,” Aveiro said. You might find you’re spending more on these items and need to cut back in other areas. You could consider reducing the amount spent on travel or vacation, or you might opt to forego a home project to maintain your current lifestyle.
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Budgeting for the Future
Prices may fluctuate in the coming months, and the safest way to be prepared may be to expect to pay more for groceries, household goods, and other living costs.
“We are headed for higher inflation,” David V. Lewis, a financial planner at Montlake Capital Management, told The Epoch Times.
“Not just from the COVID economic rebound and reset of wages,” he said. The steep federal deficit and other factors could lead to higher interest rates and a further incline of prices.
Since the purchasing power of the dollar weakens as inflation increases, the effects can hit savings accounts. Inflation “disrupts the values of pensions and pension planning,” Lewis said. It may be a good time to revisit your long-term saving plan and portfolio. Keeping assets diversified and not outspending your income could be the ticket to get through the coming months and beyond.
Rachel Hartman is a freelance writer with a background in business and finance. Her work has appeared in national and international publications for more than 10 years. She resides in Miami and travels frequently. Article cross-posted from our content partners at The Epoch Times.
The Dangers of Speaking the Truth Diminish If We Work Together
It’s becoming harder and harder for patriots to ignore the deep suppression of truth that’s happening in America today.
In all of my years in journalism, I have never received as many threats or been attacked by big companies like Google and Facebook as I have in 2021. I’d say that ever since we started covering widespread voter fraud, government-endorsed Pandemic Panic Theater, vaccine cover-ups, Critical Race Theory, and the various Neo-Marxist and Satanic agendas at play, I’ve been targeted more in months than the entirety of my life prior.
Speaking the truth is getting harder with so much censorship and suppression rampant. Prior to 2020, I was not a “conspiracy theorist” or an “anti-vaxxer,” but if there’s one thing the onslaught of exposed lies have taught us in the last 18 months, it’s that we cannot take what we’re told by the “arbiters of truth” at face value. There’s an agenda behind every message, a narrative driving every story, and a series of gigantic cover-ups designed to keep the masses in the dark.
This is why we’re building a network of news outlets that are willing to go against the narrative and expose the truth. We need help. We’re establishing strong partnerships with like-minded news outlets and courageous journalists. Even as Big Tech suppresses us, the honest messages they’re trying to quash are finding their way to the eyes and ears of patriots across the nation. With the help of new content partners like The Epoch Times and The Liberty Daily, we’re starting to see a real impact.
Our network is currently comprised of nine sites:
- NOQ Report
- Conservative Playlist
- Truth. Based. Media.
- Freedom First Network
- Based Underground
- Uncanceled News
- American Conservative Movement
- Conservative Playbook
- Our Gold Guy
Some of our content is spread across all of these sites. Other pieces of content are unique. We write most of what we post but we also draw from those willing to allow us to share their quality articles, videos, and podcasts. We collect the best content from fellow conservative sites that give us permission to republish them. We’re not ego-driven; I’d much rather post a properly attributed story written by experts like Dr. Joseph Mercola or Natural News than rewrite it like so many outlets like to do. We’re not here to take credit. We’re here to spread the truth.
I’ve said much of this before. From time to time I reframe this request for assistance by taking the most relevant message of the day and adjusting the story accordingly. We’ve discussed this network in previous articles. Now, it’s time to talk about help. First and foremost, we need financial assistance detailed below. But we could also use more writers who are willing to volunteer their thoughts for the sake of spreading the message. Those who are interested should contact me directly.
As far as money, we’re looking better than we have in the recent past, but we are currently experiencing a gap between revenue and expenses that cannot be overcome by click-ads and MyPillow promos alone (promo code “NOQ” by the way).
To overcome our revenue gap and keep these sites running, our needs fluctuate between $2200-$7800 per month. May, 2021, for example, was amazing and we almost broke even. June, revenue was sluggish at best and we had to make up a big difference out of our pockets. But we’re not just trying to get out of the red. If and when we start getting enough contributions to expand, we will do just that. Very few get into journalism to try to get rich and we’re definitely not among those who do. Our success is driven by spreading the truth, profitable or not.
The best way you can help us grow and continue to bring proper news and opinions to the people is by donating. We appreciate everything, whether a dollar or $10,000. Anything brings us closer to a point of stability when we can hire writers, editors, and support staff to make the America First message louder. Our Giving Fuel page makes it easy to donate one-time or monthly. Alternatively, you can donate through PayPal or Bitcoin as well. Bitcoin: 3A1ELVhGgrwrypwTJhPwnaTVGmuqyQrMB8
Time is short. As the world spirals towards radical progressivism, the need for truthful journalism has never been greater. But in these times, we need as many conservative media voices as possible. Please help keep NOQ Report and the other sites in the network going. Our promise is this: We will never sell out America. If that means we’re going to struggle for a while or even indefinitely, so be it. Integrity first. Truth first. America first.
Thank you and God Bless,
Many are struggling in this economy. My family is among them. Please support what we’re doing here and help us to continue to spread the truth Americans need to read and hear.
They’re Trying to Shut Us Down
Over the last several months, I’ve lost count of how many times the powers-that-be have tried to shut us down. They’ve sent hackers at us, forcing us to take extreme measures on web security. They sent attorneys after us, but thankfully we’re not easily intimidated by baseless accusations or threats. They’ve even gone so far as to make physical threats. Those can actually be a bit worrisome but Remington has me covered.
For us to continue to deliver the truth that Americans need to read and hear, we ask you, our amazing audience, for financial assistance. We just launched a GiveSendGo page to help us pay the bills. It’s brand new so don’t be discouraged by the lack of donations there. It’s a funny reality that the fewer the donations that have been made, the less likely people are willing to donate to it. One would think this is counterintuitive, but sometimes people are skeptical because they think that perhaps there’s a reason others haven’t been donating. In our situation, we’re just getting started so please don’t be shy if you have the means to help.
Thank you and God bless!