Fuel and food prices rise - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Fuel and food prices rise

April 1, 2008

Albany--  As the wheels on grocery carts turn, the prices for items going inside carts spin out of control. "It is. It's getting really hard. It really is," said shopper Jodi Hall.

Hall shops often. "Probably about every two weeks," said Hall.

But lately those trips to the market have been more expensive. "Stuff that used to be average priced has even gotten higher," said Hall. So what's the cause?

"It's all because of the gas prices," said Hall.

"Everybody is trying to keep up. It just gets harder and harder," said Tommy McDowell.

Tommy McDowell runs his own store in Albany. He has everything from tomatoes to seafood trucked in. Those drivers are complaining about fuel prices and they're passing those prices on to McDowell.

"They have to. They have to, to stay in business," said McDowell. And to stay in business, McDowell has to then make a choice of whether to pass those costs on to his customers.

"Just about everything from A to Z just continuously goes up," said McDowell.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the prices for everyday items have gone up over the past year. Let's compare February of 2007 with February of this year. Last year, a pound of bread cost $1.17.  This year it's $1.32.

In 2007, a pound of ground chuck was already high at $2.64.  In February of 2008, it was nearly $2.80. A pound of tomatoes went up 10 cents over a year and a dozen large eggs shot up from $1.75 in 2007 to $2.17 this year.

For all those items, you're now paying 11.4 percent more than last year.

Even if it's just a fifty cent increase, pretty much everything is going up," said Hall.

"The further it comes the further it costs," said McDowell.

Both McDowell and Hall aren't too optimistic that things will change for the better. "I think it's going to get worse. I really do, the way things have been going for last couple of years, I think it's going to get worse and worse," said Hall.

If it gets worse, the wheels on carts may begin turning less as people begin to pinch more at stores.    

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