HOUSTON — Inflation rates have hit a mark that hasn't been seen in a long time.
Over the last 12 months, it has ballooned nearly 8%, leading to sticker shock almost every time you open your wallet. Some experts are predicting prices will go up even more before they fall.
"It’s going to get worse before it gets better, and unfortunately, we’re just compounding the harms ... the challenges that we’ve already been experiencing with the pandemic," University of Houston-Downtown business law professor Dietrich Von Biedenfeld said.
In the past 12 months, experts say surging costs for things like gas, food and housing have led to the sharpest spike in inflation since 1982. Gas prices are up a staggering 38%. The cost of groceries jumped more than 8% and housing has climbed 4.7%.
Experts are warning that next month we may see the inflation rate go up again since economists will be able to factor in the impact the war in Ukraine is having on consumer prices.
"Very problematic considering ... we’re a month behind. This doesn’t even factor in a lot of concerns that we have with the Ukrainian conflict," Von Biedenfeld said.
Since last year, the inflation rate in the United States has steadily gone up -- from a low of 2.6% in March 2021 to a 40-year high of 7.9% last month.
"If you think of the old supply and demand, sort of the simplest model in economics, supply has been sort of restricted, demand is sort of been encouraged and that tends to put upward pressure on prices," Bureau of Labor Statistics economist Steve Reed said. "People should keep it in mind as they budget that their dollars ... might be able to buy less and less."
So, what is causing prices to climb? And what can you do to save money?
One thing you can do to make your money go further is become a smart shopper. Experts say you should look for deals and don’t spend money if you don’t have to.