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'Inflation went down considerably': Kansas City-area economist breaks down new inflation numbers

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Posted at 7:19 PM, Mar 14, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-14 20:19:28-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Newly reported inflation rates have gone down considerably from about eight and a half percent to six percent.

Local economist William Black says these numbers are not bad in economic terms, but he understands it does not take away from the continued impact on American families feeling the pinch.

“They living paycheck to paycheck, and you know, everything’s going up, but not your pay,” said Ralph Hebert, who was out shopping on Tuesday. “Everything is just overwhelming.”

Black says compared to the rest of the world, the United States is doing well bouncing back from the effects of the pandemic.

COVID-19 cases are down, the high interest rates are doing what they are supposed to, and exporting has picked back up since the Russian-Ukrainian war.

In fact, there has been some silver linings as well.

“Compared to the rest of the world, the U.S. has very low inflation and extraordinarily high employment,” Black said. “We’re having the best numbers in over a half century.”

Even still, people are still paying more and he says that is because of on-going supply chain issues, now possibly made worse by the recent bank failures.

Black predicts these inflation rates will continue for at least until the rest of the year.

“The middle class, we’re the ones paying for everything," said Brenda Thomas, another shopper. "The rich are not, the poor cannot, so what’s left is us. So we’ve gotta find somebody thats going to go to the capitals and to the political arena and speak for us."

Black thinks though, even if prices get lower, consumers will always think it is high. It is a knee-jerk reaction because inflation is such a touchy topic.

“Maybe it’s only a little bit higher than last time, but it’s still higher," Black said. "So that’s our psychological reaction. It takes some considerable time for people to go yeah, it’ higher but not by much."