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Inflation to be expected as we ‘reopen the economy,’ says economist

Gas prices are displayed at a Chevron station on June 14, 2021, in Los Angeles, California. The average price for a gallon of gasoline continues to rise amid inflation fears with the current rate of regular grade up to $3.13 nationwide. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

The price for almost everything seems to be increasing, and inflation is up by nearly 5%. What’s causing it? Matthew Gardner, chief economist for Windermere, told KIRO Radio’s Gee and Ursula Show that it’s to be expected.

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“As we reopen the economy, we’re going to start spending money, that’s going to cause inflation.”

“What it is more than anything else is the fact that we are reopening the economy, we’re going to start spending money, we’ve got supply chain shortages, gas prices are going up because we’re traveling more,” Gardner explained.

But, he says, comparing this year’s 5% rate of inflation to the same time period last year is misleading, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Compared to two years ago, overall prices rose about 2.5% in May. The high prices now will likely settle down, unlike inflation patterns of decades past.

“All in all, yes, it was a high number, but in reality, we’re not back in the late 70s or early 80s,” he said.

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Gardner also added that there are a lot of job openings as the state opens back up, which could lead to other impacts down the line.

“We’ve got a lot of job openings, no one’s taking them — maybe in the lower income sectors. And so you’re going to start seeing wages rise as well,” he said.

Listen to the full interview with Gardner below:

Listen to the Gee and Ursula Show weekday mornings from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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