A Better East Texas: Higher prices

Published: Nov. 22, 2021 at 2:12 PM CST
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EAST TEXAS (KLTV/KTRE) - You have probably noticed that some of the consumer retail items we used to think would never run low, are running low.

Hardly any industry or retail category is exempt from a contraction in available inventory. So, empty, or partly filled shelves at our favorite stores are here to stay, for now. The supply chain will smooth out over time and as the impact from COVID-19 lessens.

Will prices for those same items ever go back to pre-pandemic levels? Unfortunately, probably not – and for a lot of reasons. Many companies were forced to raise prices to maintain some amount of business margin – to pay for fixed costs like overhead. But these same businesses have also had to increase wages because of a smaller labor pool. So, it is much more expensive to get and keep employees. And on top of that are fuel and delivery costs that all must be covered somewhere.

As a result, it falls on the purchaser, the consumer, us, when all these challenges exist. And it will be a long time, if ever before wages start decreasing. And ultimately, while many people made plays for higher-paying jobs, many are having to use the extra pay to cover the increased costs of many of life’s staples – groceries, fuel, home expenses. It becomes a cycle that is more of a mental adjustment than an actual financial one. That means that it is more important than ever to be smart with the money that you make, spend wisely – and that will make for a Better East Texas.

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