WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — New numbers released Tuesday show that inflation is not easing as economists expected.
Gas prices are dropping month to month but still not enough to offset other cost of living increases.
Drivers are saving on gas compared to the last few months, but Americans are paying more for food, rent, travel and medical services.
After a shocking rise in gas prices earlier this year, prices at the pump continued dropping in August.
But the latest Consumer Price Index report released Tuesday shows that fuel costs overall are still about 26% higher than last year.
"Oh, it affects it a lot, with the gas you have to higher in the prices with deliveries," driver Ronald Romero said.
Romero stopped for a quick lunch in West Palm Beach on Tuesday and to fuel up in between deliveries for his business.
"We stop at all the gas stations," Romero said. "We know all the prices, and it's going down slowly."
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But the cost of living is still increasing.
Food costs rose .8% last month and are still 11% higher than last year.
The cost of shelter is up .7%.
Transportation services are up .5%.
Medical care services went from a .4% increase in July to a .8% increase last month.
"Unfortunately, it looks like we're going to be dealing with inflation for a few months to come still,” Florida Atlantic University economics professor William Luther said.
Luther said he was cautiously optimistic in July when the inflation rate had no change month to month, but August is still seeing increases, which hits hard when it comes to food.
"For working families, that food bill is a big portion of their monthly budget and when those prices go up 11.4% over the course of a year," Luther said.
It means that spending restraints will continue.
"Heading into the holidays, how does this impact overall spending?" asked WPTV senior reporter Michelle Quesada.
"It just means many families are just going to have to scale back," Luther said.
Luther also suggested that if you have not negotiated a pay raise yet, now is the time to do so.