Inflation causes everyday problems

Wednesday, February 27th 2008, 8:09 pm
By: News 9

By Jennifer Pierce, NEWS 9

Today the Fed admitted the economy in 2008 is not off to a great start, and we're seeing the impact in everyday expenses.

One of the driving factors behind inflation is oil prices. Right now oil is over $100 a barrel, which means we pay more at the pump and to heat our homes, but that is not where it stops.

The owner of Brown's Bakery needs more dough to make dough.

"Up till now, it's kind of come on gradually," Bill Brown, of Brown's Bakery, said.

But, Bill Brown says last month prices on all his main ingredients nearly doubled.

"The prices of shortening and flour have just accelerated out of sight," Brown said.

Wheat prices are on the rise, and it's not only taking a bite out of Brown's budget.

"Used to, you could book flour in advance," Brown said. "Two weeks ago that stopped entirely. You couldn't even book flour a week ahead."

Besides that, fuel prices are up, which costs Brown more to deliver his baked goods.

"The economy does this," Vince Orza, Dean of Meinder's School of Business at Oklahoma City University, said. "It's up and down, and sometimes you notice it because it happens dramatically."

And drama in the economy is just what we're seeing now, according to Orza. He says the high price of oil and wheat means inflation across the board, and we see it first in the purchases we make every day.

"You go to the grocery store each week and you see a price of a gallon of milk has gone up substantially, price of a loaf of bread has gone up," Orza said. "So, it really does impact consumers right away."

So from the gas pump, to the grocery store, to our favorite restaurant, we all pay the not-so-sweet price of inflation.

"We'll have to gradually increase our prices cause we can't just jump our prices overnight, but we have to stay in business," Brown said.

Brown says he and bakers from across the region will go to Washington, D.C. in March to speak to lawmakers about the inflated prices of baking goods.

And Vince Orza says the silver lining in all the inflation news is that housing prices are actually going down.