Inflation: How bad is it and how long will it last?

Economist sees positive change on the horizon

HOUSTON – From groceries to gasoline to cars and housing, the price of just about everything is soaring out of control.

We’ve shown you how to save a few extra bucks on gasoline, but as prices increase everywhere, we’re all wondering how much longer we’ll need to cope with the surge in prices.

KPRC 2 Investigates is looking into the growing inflation rate and how many years we can expect it will take for prices to get back to normal.

Inflation is at an all-time high

Right now, the inflation rate is standing at a whopping 8.6%, which is the highest inflation cycle in 41 years.

With gas prices skyrocketing up by nearly 50% and the price of groceries up roughly 12%, the average American family is now spending $346 more a month than last year, according to Moody’s, a financial services company.

Small business owner Devin Strahan started his own company in the middle of the highest inflation cycle. When he launched his new company, “Devin’s Spiked Root Beer,” he wasn’t expecting the price of his materials to soar.

“The cost of the cans has gone up. The cost of the four-pack of plastic lids has gone up. Sugar, a year ago for a 50-pound bag was about $22. Now, it’s at an average of $32 for a 50-pound bag, so that’s a $10 increase in a year’s time,” said Strahan.

Many Americans say the price of filling their tank is among the most painful. Locals who used to pay around $30 are now spending over $60 at the pump. So what’s the cure for all of this?

Luckily, the rising prices aren’t permanent.

“The solution to stopping this is the fed’s usual medicine. That means raising interest rates aggressively, but not too aggressively, to slow the economy down to a pace we can manage,” said Peter Rodriguez, a Rice University economist and Houston Federal Reserve board member.

He predicts the inflation rate won’t rise much higher.

“The first good step is that inflation stops are getting faster. I think we are at that point now, but it probably takes another two full years before we get inflation down to about the 2% level,” said Rodriguez.

As for Strahan, he is charging forward with help from his friends at a local brewery, but he has one big worry: will customers have the money to actually buy his product?

“It’s a little nerve-wracking, but hey, I’m sure at some point everything will start to level off again,” said Strahan.

If you’re struggling with high inflation right now, you’re not alone. Click here to read how 18 Houstonians are handling the rise in prices.

About the Author:

Emmy-winning investigative reporter, insanely competitive tennis player, skier, weightlifter, crazy rock & roll drummer (John Bonham is my hero). Husband to Veronica and loving cat father to Bella and Meemo.