HARRISBURG, Pa. — Because of inflation, Americans will spend an extra $5,200 this year, local economic experts predict.
Bloomberg economists say these numbers come as inflation has risen more than 7%, the highest Americans have seen since 1982.
"This is uncharted territory," said Dr. Mike Gumpper, professor of economics for Millersville University. "We're hit with two major shocks to the economic system within a year and a half or two years of each other, the pandemic, and now a war in Europe."
Yeva Nersisyan, associate professor of economics at Franklin & Marshall College, says some of the rising costs we're seeing are because the U.S. is dependent on oil and fossil fuels.
"We've all seen gas prices go up because oil prices are up, and we've also seen car prices go up because production has not been keeping up with demand because of shortages of certain things like semiconductors and so on," Nersisyan says.
The question remains: what can Americans do to save and combat the rise in prices?
Nersisyan says it will take negotiating pay, or changing jobs to get a better income.
She adds there has been an imbalance in worker production and pay increases.
According to the Economic Policy Institute, worker productivity has increased to more than 61.8% from 1979-to 2020, while the Havard Business Review notes research of worker wages increasing only by 9% since 1970.
"Workers are producing more, but they're not getting paid more, and the rest, of course, goes to companies in the form of profit," she said.
Gumpper says it will take some "bending" or compromising on both the consumer and supplier ends to find a happy medium and maybe long before we begin to see dips in prices.
For now, it is too early to tell.
As people begin to find better alternatives, Gumpper says it could be an advantage for suppliers.
"I think you're going to find there's an opportunity too for some companies who can market themselves to consumers who are very cost-conscious now and inflation conscious to possibly pick up some market share," he said.