The high inflation rate, reflected in prices across the board from bread and meat to automobiles, and rising energy prices are squeezing many Maine consumers this holiday season.
The price of food is up an average of 11 percent compared with last October, while the price of toys is up more than 3 percent, apparel up 4 percent and pet food up 15 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Gas still is up more than 17 percent compared with last October, and fuel oil is up more than 68 percent.
Maine has made some moves to relieve the price pressures, but they won’t come in time for the holidays. Low-income Mainers were already bracing to face the winter with less heating aid expected. Democratic Gov. Janet Mills and legislative negotiators agreed on a winter heating relief program that would provide $900 checks to most families across the state, she announced Tuesday. But those checks would not be mailed until next month.
We would like to know whether rising prices are causing you to dial back your holiday plans and what information you need to help you plan a holiday season on a tapered budget.
Please join the conversation by answering our survey below.