How East Tennesseans are fighting back on inflation

Have you changed your shopping habits? University of Tennessee’s Professor Thomas Goldsby said shoppers have noticed higher prices and look for deals.
Have you changed your shopping habits?
Published: Aug. 16, 2022 at 8:34 AM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Have you changed your shopping habits? University of Tennessee’s professor and the Dee and Jimmy Haslam Chair in Logistics, Thomas Goldsby, said shoppers have noticed higher prices and look for deals.

“Our economy is completely dependent on people spending money,” Goldsby said giving an update on East Tennessee’s economic pulse. “Roughly 70 percent of our economy in the United States in consumer driven.”

He said they’re seeing gas prices ease up, but grocery costs are still high.

Goldsby explained, “There’s been some really good research to suggest that people’s sensitivities, natural sensitivities, to elevated prices in the shopping aisle has very much influenced where they shop and what they’re buying.”

Anywhere the shopper feels they can get a deal like big brand discount grocery stores and even dollar stores are doing well.

“Consumers are very price sensitive. And that’s where we’re seeing the likes of TJ Maxx and some of the discount retailers doing really well with some of that excess merchandise that has made its way into the market in recent months. Those markdowns are proving to be very attractive,” Goldsby said.

Goldsby believed inflation has been on a “dramatic march” in recent months, but with hiring and wages strong, those could have staying power.

“We will see a recession at some point, whether it’s later this year or next year or 10 years from now, business cycles come to an end. That’s inevitable, but I really think that we’re seeing enough positives signs right now to suggest that we’re not going into a down economic time,” Goldsby said.

He believed overall East Tennessee has done much better than average because of tourism and people moving here, which causes housing prices to increase.

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