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'Instead of beef, I switch to pork': ISU economist reveals tips to manage inflation

The country's inflation rate is up 6.2% compared to this time last year according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Gas, food and housing prices are all surging right now.

That surge is due to inflation, according Iowa State University economist Dave Swenson.

The country's inflation rate is up 6.2% compared to this time last year, which is the highest increase since November of 1990, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Swenson said this is happening "because the pandemic has lowered the level of production of many of the key commodities that we use and consume in our households and businesses."

He said the inflation we're experiencing now is not typical—some items are rising in price sharply while others are not.

Swenson said some of the factors contributing to some goods prices going up are related to transportation or logistics. However, he said it's best to prepare to deal with current conditions for a while. 

 "Part of the higher prices is we're paying more for labor than we were before," Swenson said.  "Some of that's going to be permanent because we're not going to cut people's wages."

Swenson also said families struggling with inflation should stay away from certain products. 

 "First of all, you consume less of what you can't afford… Things like meat, beef are much more expensive right now so what people then do is use substitutes," Swenson said. "So instead of beef, I switch to pork."

He believes the inflated prices will eventually go down, but it could be a slow process. 

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