MEMPHIS, Tenn.– At grocery stores across the country, shoppers have changed their spending habits because of inflation. Despite the price hike, one local economist believes relief could soon be on the way. 

Grocery shopping during a pandemic is something many say they dread.

Those feelings come as inflation is at a 40-year high, which has led to customers paying more at the pump and at grocery stores. In some instances, forcing shoppers like Tonya Johnson to go to multiple stores before she finds what she needs.

“It’s not as much fun to go grocery shopping anymore it’s more of what do I need to do to make sure my family is taken care of,” Johnson said.

“I just don’t understand when I put all the logic together, put all the numbers together, put everything that I understand about the economy together, it still does not make sense,” Johnson said.

Experts say the pandemic and the war in Ukraine are contributing to inflation, which has left some shelves bare. 

It’s something economic expert Dr. John Gnuscke has not seen before. 

“The shift in shopping has been we’re now spending more of our money at the grocery store. We’re spending more of our money at the gas station and less of it buying goods,” Gnuscke said.

The retired University of Memphis professor said the good news is inflation appears to be slowing down. He believes it will follow a pattern seen throughout history. 

“We know that there are business cycles, those have not gone away,  and we know that there are economic cycles and those have not gone away, and we should expect those to continue to occur throughout my life and throughout yours,” Gnuscke said.

While it could take a few months before shoppers notice prices decreasing, most can agree something is better than nothing.

“I do think it will get better and I pray that it gets better, that you see people versus money and people will always be something that you can always have faith in,” Johnson said.

Production of baby formula is expected to pick up over the next few weeks.