MLive: Matthew Roling on inflation during economic recovery
As shoppers dust the pandemic cobwebs off their wallets, they’re noticing prices aren’t the same as they were in 2020. The inflated prices are hitting some products more than others. The federal government tracks monthly price changes for more than 300 consumer products, ranging from cars and college textbooks to bananas and pet food. “Inflation is one of those things people know just enough about to be afraid of,” said Matthew Roling, adjunct finance professor at Wayne State University. “So it’s really easy for people to use it as a wedge to drive agendas that might be unrelated to the core issue.” There’s a litany of reasons for why prices are higher for various products, but it all comes down to supply and demand, Roling said. While it may seem like inflation is running rampant, Roling said he expects this to be temporary. “It’s a lot easier to turn off the global economy than to turn it back on,” Roling said. “Demand is returning to normal at a faster rate than supply is. So everyone is going back to buying all the food and the vacations and the clothes and the gas in the cars – they’re returning to the same behavior they had a year-and-a-half ago.” Roling expects prices to settle in the next couple months. “If it’s still here nine months from now, then it’s a problem,” Roling said.