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Northeast Ohio grocery shoppers don't need to be told the new inflation numbers, they're living them

grocery shopping
Posted at 4:59 PM, May 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-11 20:37:08-04

CLEVELAND — Northeast Ohio grocery shoppers like Brian Metz of Cleveland didn't need to be told of the latest inflation numbers released Tuesday, he's living them. His grocery bill was close to $400 forcing him to make tough choices.

"Buy cheap, buy store brand stuff the best you can do," said Metz who doesn't see an end in sight. "Not anytime soon sorry to say."

Tifanny Benco is also among those making grocery shopping changes as well.

"I will make sure I do one trip, like I won't go back and forth to many stores to save gas," Benco said.

Consumer prices jumped 8.3% last month from a year ago, the government said Wednesday. That was below the 8.5% year-over-year surge in March, which was the highest since 1981. On a monthly basis, prices rose 0.3% from March to April, the smallest increase in eight months.

Senator Rob Portman sees the impacts across the state.

"The food inflation of 9.4%," said Portman. "This is a real killer for Ohio families particularly for low, middle income families and those who are on fixed incomes including most seniors in Ohio."

And here's the thing with food inflation, the price you pay today for bread is based on what it cost the farmers to produce the wheat last year.

At a Portage County farm, Chuck Sayre said last month that their inflation over last year because of skyrocketing diesel and fertilizer costs is 78%.

"The bread prices, the milk prices, that's what happened eight months ago. For us now, when these input costs go up, when our 78% inflation hits us we have to pass that on," Sayre said. "That's when your inflation will hit."

Jared Bernstein, one of President Joe Biden's economic advisers, said the president here's the concerns of the people we spoke with, that's in part why he was in Illinois meeting with farmers to discuss ways the administration can ease those financial pressures now and those prices down the road.

"Things like precision farming and double cropping. Ideas to help improve domestic yields getting help from our agriculture department," Bernstein said. "So we're well aware of these commodity pressures and we're trying to help."

"As you heard the president say yesterday and he's out in Illinois saying the same thing today he considers bringing down this price pressure on American families, on their household budgets, his top domestic economic priority," he said. "And we have a whole lot of things we are trying to do to help consumers deal with these pressures."