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Inflation shoots up, Utah consumer confidence remains strong

SALT LAKE CITY – A major shocker for economists as inflation rates across the country shot up by 6.2%. Here in Utah, it’s even higher at 7%.

“We haven’t seen this kind of inflation. We haven’t seen 6.2% in 30 years. It was 1990 the last time we saw this level of inflation,” said Robert Spendlove, Zions Bank economist. “It really starts to hit people in the pocketbooks. And that’s what we’re seeing more and more.”

In Utah, gas was up 50%. Natural gas was up 20.5%, used cars and trucks 26.5%, and meat jumped 15.9%.

With unprecedented supply chain backlogs at the docks, Spendlove said now is the time to shop for the holidays.

“I would recommend people go out, get your Christmas presents now. Get your Thanksgiving turkey now, you know, don’t wait until the last week because it might not be available. And it’ll probably be more expensive than it is today,” said Spendlove.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom. Oddly enough, Spendlove said there is a good story here — and that has to do with consumer confidence levels. The latest Utah consumer confidence survey is at 81.5 compared to 71.7 nationally.

“People feel good about the strength of the economy, the economy is growing really well. So, people are buying a lot. They’re demanding a lot of stuff,” said Spendlove.

That’s why retailers like Jacqueline Lopez who co-owns The Hive Market at Trolley Square are still optimistic about a very good holiday season.

“We are really excited about the holiday season,” Lopez said.

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