From the Record:
With prices rising at their fastest in more than four decades, the question is on the mind of every driver, homeowner, shopper and saver in New Jersey: Where will it end?
In the Garden State, gas prices have spiked 44% in the past year. The cost of new car in the New York Metro Area jumped 16% in June from a year earlier, according to the U.S. Labor Department. Meat, chicken, fish and eggs climbed 10%. Housing costs were up 4%. Economists expect the pain to drag on at least through the end of the year. Volatile energy and food prices may come back down, but some of the eye-watering increases are likely here to stay.
Eventually, employers may be forced to hike wages, increasing individual purchasing power to take some of the edge off of inflation. But it’s looking more and more likely, economists told us, that any “relief” will be triggered by a recession that dries up demand and forces businesses to recalibrate.
“Unless the economy really goes in the tank, I don’t think businesses will be inclined to lower the prices,” said Robert Scott, an economist with Monmouth University. How did we get into this mess? How do we get out of it? Here’s what a sample of local and national economic experts told The USA Today Network in New Jersey: