A worker shortage, COVID-19 pandemic and a shortage of many products has triggered inflation in many different areas in our economy. St. Cloud State Economist and Dean, School of Public Affairs, King Banaian joined me on WJON today.  He says inflation is sticking around for the foreseeable future and will impact many Central Minnesotans.

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The areas of continued impact are the price of items at restaurants.  Banaian says many restaurants have been hit with a worker shortage prompting them to reduce hours or to close a day or 2 a week.  He says restaurant owners sill need to pay rent on the days they aren't open so the cost to continue operation has to come from somewhere.  Banaian says that cost will likely be passed on to the consumer with increased prices on menu items.

The automobile industry is dealing with a shortage of micro chips in new vehicles.  King says the stimulus checks in the past year led more and more people to buy new and used vehicles.  Because automobile production was slowed when the pandemic began in March of 2020 the increased demand for new and used vehicles wasn't expected.  The production of new vehicles has caught up but the parts to complete those new vehicles is still slowed because many of these micro chips are produced in Taiwan.  Banaian suspects the production and distribution of micro chips would catch up for about a year.  Banaian says the cost of used vehicles has gone up due to the demand.

King Banaian joins me monthly on WJON.  Take a listen to my conversation with King below.

 

 

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