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Dig Deep As Cost Of Living Continues To Rise

MIAMI (CBSMiami) -- The cost of living is still on the rise. A new report shows prices for everyday items are once again increasing, including Valentine's Day gifts for that special someone.

Betty Eklund, owner of Engwall Flowers in Minnesota, says, "the supply chain with flowers has been challenging ever since COVID started. From the growers in South America, Europe, getting the transportation."

Tight supplies are a big reason why prices are growing, especially for roses.

Jessica Simcox, owner of Prevatte Florist in Florida, says, "and those prices unfortunately have increased by 30% to 50%."

It's not just flowers, almost everything we buy costs more.

Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals prices jumped 7.5% in January compared to the previous year. That's the largest increase since 1982.

A look inside the numbers shows prices for used cars and trucks rose 40.5%, eggs are 13.1% higher.
And even power costs more, electricity is up 10.7%.

Americans are also feeling pain at the pump. The national average for a gallon of gas is at an eight year high according to the US Department of Energy.

"The Fed is going to act. They will act forcefully," says CBS News business analyst Jill Schlesinger. She says the Federal Reserve is already planning to stem inflation by raising interest rates. "Fed Chair Jerome Powell has said if they need to do more than what is expected that is what they will do," Schlesinger says.

When asked when prices might stabilize, Schlesinger says, "Most economists that I speak to are looking towards the middle of the year to see that prices will stop increasing as quickly as they have."

Schlesinger says price hikes may slow down this summer but likely won't stop for the rest of the year.

EMERGENCY COMPONENT - LOCAL

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