NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Are families in Tennessee positioned to weather the storm of higher prices amid an uncertain few months ahead? One economist says there is no place he’d rather be as Americans continue to face the worst inflation rates in over 40 years.
The statement comes after the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the newest Consumer Price Index, which measures the average change over time in prices paid by consumers for goods and services.
New data provided by the BLS shows inflation rates remained flat month to month. Economist Dr. Mickey Hepner of Austin Peay State University says Tennesseans can thank the recent decision to raise interest rates for doing their part to hold down inflation on goods.
“The prices of goods will stabilize and some that have had tremendous increases will start to pull back, we’ve seen tremendous pullbacks in gasoline,” said Dr. Hepner, “I would expect going forward that the peak inflation, the most painful inflation that we’ve had the last year, is behind us and I expect that the better times for price stability are ahead of us.”
New numbers show the Consumer Price Index saw an 8.5% increase which is a cool down from the 9.1% increase that was seen in June 2022. The Volunteer State saw double-digit increases in food, energy and even new cars. Despite the increase, Dr. Hepner says, compared to the rest of the country, Tennessee’s economy continues to remain fairly strong.
“There’s frankly nowhere else I would rather be than right here in Tennessee,” said Dr. Hepner, “I think that even as the national economy starts to teeter on the brink of a recession, I think that Tennessee’s economy is fairly strong. I think here we will start to see pricing pressures continue to come down and there’s so much attractive about this state, it’s so valuable for businesses and consumers, for firms and employees so I think the Tenneessee economy is going to remain pretty strong.”
Dr. Hepner says there are still some unknowns that could affect the economy in the upcoming months, including affairs overseas, such as the war in Ukraine.
“Prosperity requires peace, and we don’t have that if the war in Europe expands and it will certainly have a ripple effect throughout Europe which does affect us,” said Dr. Hepner, “What happens overseas does affect us here. So, I think that can create some future inflationary pressure.”
The Bureau of Labor Statistics says CPI data for August 2022 is scheduled to be released on September 13.
To view the CPI data for July 2022, click here.