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Soaring inflation crunches San Diegans

Posted at 4:15 PM, Nov 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-10 19:29:15-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Inflation across the United States is at a 30-year high and San Diego mom-and-pop businesses say they have no choice but to raise prices.

Joseph Karadakis says the goal at Mission Valley's Grater Grilled Cheese is to create new spins on the classic comfort food. But building all those concoctions has never been more challenging, because Karadakis says wholesale prices for cheese, bread and butter have all shot up in the last year.

"Everything is getting more expensive and I think that people can see that from going to restaurants back to going to the grocery store," he said.

On Wednesday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported annual inflation at 6.2 percent, the highest annual growth rate since 1990. A shortage of workers has raised wages, gas prices have increased transportation costs, and supply chain backups at ports have led to price hikes for all sorts of goods.

"The U.S. economy is rebounding from the pandemic faster that supply can catch up," said Lynn Reaser, chief economist at Point Loma Nazarene University. "Factory shutdowns overseas due to Covid, container shortages, port logjams, and lack of truckers have hampered imports. Domestic companies have not been able to fill the gap. They cannot find the workers, need parts from overseas, or just do not have the capacity."

At Paradise Yogurt in Mission Valley, owner Julie Tice says she's been walloped by increases in the price of dairy, rent, insurance and supplies like styrofoam cups.

"If I raised my prices according to the percentage, I would probably lose half my customers," said Tice, noting she raised her prices 2 percent about three months ago.

As for when this could end, Reaser said the hope is the rate of annual inflation cools off to 3 or 4 percent over the next year.

From October 2020 to October 2021, food prices rose about 5.3 percent -- virtually the same at restaurants and grocery stores.

From September to October, prices overall rose 0.9 percent.