BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — If you have been noticing your weekly grocery bill getting higher, you are not alone. Inflation can be found everywhere in the U.S. including right here in Baton Rouge.
“We are seeing a broad increase in the price of living across pretty much everything in the economy,” said Dek Terrell, economic professor and executive director of the Economics and Policy Research Group at LSU.
From gasoline to housing costs — inflation has taken hold of many essential goods in Baton Rouge. Terrell said one area hit hardest is transportation.
“Used cars are going up 44-45 percent last year, so that’s a huge increase in that,” Terrell said. “If you have driven to the gas pumps, you’ve seen a big increase in the price of gas.”
The pandemic is just one of many factors to why this is happening, according to Andrew Fitzgerald, senior vice president of business intelligence at BRAC.
“The combination of supply chain shortages as well as the international conflicts going on in Ukraine and Russia are definitely are going to continue to impact our prices,” said Fitzgerald.
On a positive note, Baton Rouge’s inflation isn’t as steep as other cities in the U.S.
“The data showed that inflation was in fact happening in Baton Rouge, but it was happening at a slower pace than the rest of the country,” said Fitzgerald.
Research Assistant at the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness (CREC) Tyler Baines agreed with Fitzgerald’s findings that Baton Rouge is doing slightly better compared to the average metropolitan city — but not by much.
“Not a huge difference, but it is less expensive in relation to other metro areas,” said Baines.
Baines said the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) data cannot predict the future, but he sees a trend that could continue to grow.
“The trend is that prices are getting higher across the board, especially in housing,” Baines said.
Terrell said if you intend to make a big purchase, it’s best not to wait.
“If you’re really going to need that refrigerator, assuming it’s available now, in the next year, maybe you will want to buy that appliance,” said Terrell.