CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) – Inflation is making us all pay a higher price to keep food on the family table and gas in the tank. A local economist warns high prices are likely to get worse before they get better.

Economist John Burke, an economics professor for more than 50 years, told 19 News that unfortunately it was a perfect storm of circumstances that led to inflation the likes of which we haven’t seen in 40 years. .

Inflation jumped to 8.6% in May, the highest since 1981, and it is not slowing down according to Professor Burke: “Indeed, it was worse 40 years ago. 1981, 1982 and 1983, when Ronald Reagan was president, inflation jumped to 15 or 16%. This time it’s only 7 or 8%, which is bad.

Gas prices are $5.19 a gallon in some northeast Ohio communities, and the national average for fuel prices has hit a national high. Food prices are the highest in 40 years. The cost of milk is up almost 16%, the price of chicken has jumped 17% and eggs are 32% higher than a year ago.

There is now also real concern about food shortages and Professor Burke says this is already happening: “I think there is already a food shortage. It’s happened before, and I think it’s going to get worse.

Those who feel the greatest pressure on their wallets, the elderly, the disabled, the poor and the working class, “wages will catch up. But they catch up with some delay. They don’t catch up immediately and so these people are going to get screwed in the meantime.

Burke says the inflation was caused unfortunately by a perfect storm, including COVID which slowed the supply chain and then increased demand when people were able to return to stores and restaurants. Another major factor is Russia’s war against Ukraine: “Two of the main food-exporting agricultural countries are Ukraine and Russia. They are at war with each other now, and this food is not grown or exported.

Adding to pain at the pump, groceries and even rental prices, rising costs are likely to rise before they get better, and not just in the US, but around the world. world, Professor Burke said, “Inflation is happening in Europe, inflation is happening in China, inflation is happening in Japan, inflation is happening everywhere and petrol prices are rising everywhere in the world.

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