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COVID Recovery: As Pandemic Eases, Concerns About Inflation Emerge

SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) – As we turn the corner on the pandemic, prices for gas, groceries and other goods are going up, which is causing concerns about inflation.

"I've noticed a huge increase in gas prices recently," said Ricardo Del Rio.

He says a tank of gas used to cost him $30 but now easily tops $50.

"You have to manage your money now even more. You have to budget more," said Del Rio.

The Consumer Price Index, a basic measure of how much we're paying for things, rocketed up 4.2% in April, its largest increase since 2008.

San Jose State University Economic Professor Colleen Haight says inflation is a byproduct of all the money the federal government has pumped into the economy during the pandemic.

"When you print money, that causes inflation. So, really what we're seeing as the price creeping up is that inflation coming home to roost," Haight told KPIX 5.

Haight said it's not the runaway inflation that dragged down the economy in the 1970s and 80s but it is concerning nonetheless.

"The average person will feel it when they go to the grocery store. And they find that they're buying roughly the same fruits and vegetables that they were buying last week or the week before but they're going to notice that that bill keeps getting slightly higher," the economist said.

It's something drivers have been feeling for a while now.

"Throughout the whole pandemic, I've noticed that there's been an increase in the gas. And I'm seeing the gas prices just go up," said driver Levi Matias.

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