(The Center Square) – Prices are up for everything from gas to food to Christmas presents and some warn it’s going to stick around.
Compared to 2020, prices in October were up 6.2%, according to a recent U.S. Labor Department report. From September to October, they rose 0.9%.
President Biden is losing approval over it, but that is where the blame should rest say some, including Todd Maisch, Illinois Chamber of Commerce CEO and president. He says the reasons are complex, but energy prices are the best example.
“The Biden Administration refused to build a new pipeline that would have gotten safe and secure energy from Canada to the United States,” he said.
He points out they are also discussing shutting down an existing one that supplies heating oil to the Midwest.
“At the same time they’re shutting down North American energy supplies, they’re haranguing OPEC for not pumping enough oil,” he said. “That energy policy is sheer lunacy and that is the single biggest thing that they could change very quickly if they ever figured it out.”
Not counting volatile food and energy costs, inflation is still up 4.6%.
While it may not keep climbing, Maisch thinks elevated inflation will be with us over a long period of time.
“Even an inflation rate of 4% is something that Illinois families are going to notice, and it’s still double the rate of what the Federal Reserve tells us they’re targeting in terms of inflation rate,” he said. “So even if we were to cut the rate by a third, we’re still well above historical norms and it’s going to be with us for a while.”
Maisch says a combination of an easy money policy from the Fed, bad energy policies and the labor shortage are main reasons why Illinoisans will have to pay more for Christmas.
“Families that normally spend three, four hundred dollars on their Christmas giving, they’re going to be spending maybe $450-$500 to get the same amount of gifts for family, friends and charitable giving,” he said.