Consumer Alert: As prices rise, the president tries to open the spigots plugging up ports

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Your consumer alert is looking at what you pay for everything from gas to groceries, and you guessed it: You paid more in September than the month before.

And yes, gas and groceries are in part to blame for that inflation you’re feeling in your wallet, so much so and so the decrease in the price of used cars did little to offset fuel and meat prices.

September’s Consumer Price Index is out. It indicated the price you pay to fuel your car rose 1.2% in September and a whopping 42.1% year over year. Meanwhile, the price you pay to fuel your body keeps climbing as well. For example, the price of meat rose 3.3% last month and 12.6% year over year. And the price we’re paying for rent went up more in September than any monthly gain since 2006.

The Federal Reserve keeps trying to be the voice of calm calling the inflation we’re seeing short-lived and nothing to fret about, but some economists are pushing back.

Bob Doll, chief investment officer at Crossmark Global Investments told CNBC on Wednesday, “If you know anybody who doesn’t have to live somewhere, doesn’t eat any food and doesn’t use energy, then inflation is maybe not a particular problem. But come on!”

Part of the problem is that the supply chain is broken. It’s a mess. It took a confluence of COVID-caused crises to get us here, and Wednesday the Biden administration announced a plan to try to help get us out.

Right now across the country, cargo containers are crammed at ports, unloading delayed by pandemic regulations and labor shortages. So President Biden announced a deal brokered with the port of Los Angeles to become a 24-hour, seven-days-a-week operation. This is important because that port along with the one in Long Beach account for 40% of the shipping containers that land on our shores. Long Beach is already operating 24-7.

Here’s how bad things are at those two California ports. As of Monday, there were 62 cargo ships in the process of unloading and 81 waiting to do so. That leads to shortages which then lead to price spikes. Will this Whitehouse maneuver assure that the Lego set and Barbie dollhouse your grandkids want will be on store shelves?

We’ll all have to keep our fingers crossed.