Cost of Living On the Rise in Lubbock - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

5/20/04

Cost of Living On the Rise in Lubbock

Over a 12 month period, the cost of food and services in Lubbock has increased 3.6%. And those prices are being passed down to you, the consumer.

Lubbock restaurant owner David Cea says he has been hit hard by inflation. "It's hard to make any money when the prices get up to this point. In this particular market, it is hard to pass that cost on to the customers," said Cea.

In an economic report released Thursday afternoon, it shows the cost of living in Lubbock has increased over 12 months. Utilities are up 7.9% Gas is up 10%. Restaurant prices are up 2.1%. "We use hundreds of pounds of cheese a day," said Cea about his Orlando's restaurant. He says the price of cheese has skyrocketed.

But like Cea, you have to buy food to operate. In most cases, you buy to feed your families.

Here are some inflated prices you are seeing at the grocery stores. Overall inflation there is 8.2%. Produce is costing you more. So is dairy products, cereals, oils, meat, poultry, fish and eggs.

According the U.S. Department of Agriculture, milk prices have increased. In Dallas as of January 2004, milk cost $2.62 a gallon. In May, it rose to $3.56 a gallon.

NewsChannel 11 shopped around in Lubbock, and found an estimated average price of milk is $4.09 a gallon.

Karr Ingham, an economists from Amarillo, says consumers need to brace themselves because he does not see costs decreasing any time soon. "We've been in a period of low inflation for a number of years now. We are now seeing some upward movement in the prices. I think we're are playing catch up," said Ingham.

As for Cea, he has had to raise prices at one of his restaurants. But he is waiting to see what the economy does before he makes any more drastic changes that could affect your pocket books.

Supply is low, demand is high and those are the reasons why we are seeing increases in our cost of living. But kind of a switch here, Lubbock's economy is doing just fine despite the fact it is not doing as well as it was last year. However, economists say we are not suffering any big job losses.

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