There is talk of a possible nationwide recession, and here on the South Plains you've probably noticed the cost of just about everything has gone up. Inflation in the U.S. hit a 17-year high last year, with food and energy costs driving that increase.
Now, NewsChannel 11 has uncovered some hidden costs that you might not have noticed.
From gas pumps, to grocery stores...
"Half a gallon of milk is almost as much as a gallon of milk, so it is going up, and that's just milk," Javier Aginiga said.
It's the same story across the country and right here on the South Plains.
"I can't buy groceries; my girl is hungry," Eddie Reyes said.
Costs are up.
"It was somewhat surprising, but it affects everybody," Jamie Burns, owner of JJ's Fast Stop in Wolfforth said.
She first noticed the change when gas prices reached over $3 a gallon.
"Like Coca-Cola, Frito-Lay, tobacco, there were increases because of transportation of those products," Burns said.
What didn't change were beer costs.
"Since I opened this store in April, the beer prices have not changed," Burns said.
Prices will change next month.
"We have been notified that there will be a beer increase because of inflation February 1st, and there will be some changes in beer prices at that time," Burns said.
While it's a first for Burns, the folks over at McGilligutty's in Lubbock say they've seen prices rise year to year.
"A lot of it ends up having to be because of the situation with gas prices going up, transportation from the main distributors to here, then from our local wholesale distributors back to us," McGilligutty's floor manager Jeff Trevino said.
He says the increases are usually seen in cents.
"We try to keep it steady, keep is as a norm, but we reach the point of gradually raising our prices if we have to, but we still try to keep it fair for the consumer," Trevino said.
While Congress considers how to stimulate the economy, folks here say...
"We just kind of have to deal with it, just like everybody has to deal with milk prices going up and everything else," Trevino said.
"It just particularly hits you and I and my customers right in the pocket book," Burn said.
Burns tells NewsChannel 11 that she has seen wine prices go up. Wednesday, they had a delivery and saw an increase. Burns says it could be transportation costs, linked to gas prices that raised those costs.
Congress is working on plans to stimulate the economy, and many economists urge law makers to act quickly.
"If you wait until it's absolutely, 100% proven and sure that we're in a recession, it's going to be too late," Lawrence Summers, Former U.S. Treasury Secretary said.
Democrats are pushing for more unemployment benefits, home heating help and middle class tax cuts. Republicans want to renew the Bush tax cuts and give businesses a tax break.
Lawmakers sat down Thursday to start working out their differences. They say they hope to get a bill on the President's desk by the end of the month.
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