Wide range of price increases hits San Diegans

Posted at 4:20 PM, Jul 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-02 21:43:07-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- If you think the cash in your wallet is not going as far these days, you're probably right.

The Labor Department says from May 2020 to May 2021, prices for goods in San Diego County on average rose 5.3 percent. Typically, inflation rises about 2 percent year-over-year.

Increases in gas, apparel, restaurant food, cars and alcohol are among the highest.

"Part of it has to do with some fact that prices are rebounding from pandemic lows," said Alan Gin, economist at the University of San Diego.

Prices at restaurants are up 4.1 percent year-over-year. Not only are labor and transportation costs rising, but so are ingredients like pork, beef and cooking oil. (Alternatively, grocery prices are down 1 percent over the year).

Johan Engman, CEO of Rise and Shine Restaurant Group, said his board met Thursday to discuss possible price increases at the company's Breakfast Republic chain.

"It's on the table but we have not done it yet," he said. "I don't like to do that unless it's absolutely necessary."

Engman said the increases would amount to 25 cents on different dishes, depending on projections of how they sell.

Gin said prices could stabilize in the coming months as life returns to normal. But he also noted businesses can save money by reducing size or portions - which some call shrinkflation.

"It's easier, psychologically, for manufacturers to pass along price increases that way as opposed to raising prices," Gin said.

Engman said reducing portions is never an option at his restaurants.