With inflation surging to 40-year high, financial strain hurting local residents – Delco Times



These days Americans are paying more to survive least of all thrive.

From the cost of fruit at the local market in Kennett Square, to a prepared dish from West Chester, the prices are higher than ever for food, gas, electricity – just about everything.

“Inflation is crushing the hospitality industry in many ways,” said Domenick Savino, managing partner of The Drexelbrook, a popular catering and events center in Drexel Hill. “Prices fluctuate daily in the commodities market so it presents a real challenge when booking future events to quote and honor prices for 2023 and beyond.”

A daughter and her visiting-from-out-of-town mother dines at La Verona in Kennett Square on Tuesday for the special occasion. They both received complimentary sunflowers from Zena Florist to brighten their day. (JEN SAMUEL — MEDIANEWS GROUP)
Landenberg native Brett Meyer finds balance exploring the forest this past spring in Franklin. “Being a contractor, the gas prices are affecting vehicle and equipment and pleasurable activities like boating,” Meyer said. (JEN SAMUEL — MEDIANEWS GROUP)

“For those of us in the private events industry, we have been honoring contracts signed two years ago with pricing. Now with the severe increase in cost of goods, it really takes a chunk out of the bottom line,” Savino said.

Last month, inflation increased by 11.3 percent at the wholesale level compared to June 2021, as previously reported. Thursday, the U.S. The Department of Labor announced that the producer price index in America accelerated at the fastest pace since hitting a record 11.6 percent in March.

“We have removed certain items from our menus mainly crab, lobster, high end meats or listing them at ‘Market Price’ to be determined closer to the event date. Inflation also effects salaries and wages as inflation goes up so does the need to increase employee pay,” Savino stated. “On the flip side it is very difficult to outprice inflation on menus. So, for small businesses, this is a crisis situation.”

Yet even more than food, there’s been an ongoing surge in energy prices in Southeastern Pennsylvania and elsewhere.

Gasoline prices continue to soar at dramatic rates, although recently the prices at various Chester County gas stations have fallen just below $5 per gallon.

“Absolutely ridiculous, a quarter of my paycheck, if not more, should not be going to gas every week,” said Diedra James of Oxford.

Of course, with inflation continuing to rise in America, and rumors of a recession persistent from Wall Street to Main Street, some spectators anticipate gasoline prices hitting the $5 mark locally by the New Year.

“Being a contractor, the gas prices are affecting vehicle and equipment and pleasurable activities like boating,” said Landenberg native Brett Meyer of Franklin.

Next year, average global refining margins are expected to top their five-year average range, albeit “nowhere near as punchy as 2022,” said analyst Alan Gelder of Wood Mackenzie, a research company, in a June report by Reuters.

According to the U.S. Consumer Price Index inflation broke a 40-year record in June at 9.1 percent — the largest annual increase since 1981.

Nearly half of the increase due to higher energy costs, as previously reported. Inflation continues to impact the household budgets of Americans while concurrently placing pressure on the Federal Reserve to aggressively raise interest rates — startling trends that raise the risk of a recession.

“Inflation has caused us to change our habits,” said Landenberg resident Barbara Croyle, founder of AgingConfident.”We don’t shop or go out to eat any more and watch what we buy at the grocery store. Biggest impact is on food.”

The Landenberg resident said that her family is upset “we are unable to support local business like we have in the past.”

Although Croyle added that gas is also an issue, she drives a Prius and is therefore able to get around.

Prices in June increased dramatically compared to one-year prior with gasoline up by 59.9 percent, fruit and vegetables up by more than 8 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The cost of cereal has increased by more than 15 percent compared to a year ago. Nationally, even the cost of flour has increased by 5.1 percent.

“Inflation is not Putin’s fault,” Croyle said. “It is entirely the fault of out-of-control government spending and poor policies by the Federal Reserve.”


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