Tennessee Economist: State’s Economy Is Strong Despite Inflation

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The Tennessee Conservative [By Jason Vaughn] –

A local economist says Tennessee is in a good place to deal with the current inflation crisis that is plaguing the country.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released an updated Consumer Price Index for July 2022. The index measures the average change of prices that consumers pay for goods and services.

According to Dr. Mickey Hepner, an economist and Dean of the College of Business at Austin Peay State University, the recent increase in interest rates is actually responsible for minimizing inflation on products, and he believes that the worst of the inflation is nearing the end.

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“The prices of goods will stabilize and some that have had tremendous increase will start to pull back, we’ve seen tremendous pullbacks in gasoline,” Dr. Hepner said. “I would expect going forward that the peak inflation, the most painful inflation that we’ve had the last year, is behind us and I expect that the better times for price stability are ahead of us.”

The recently released Consumer Price Index shows an 8.5% increase in the cost of goods and services, which is better than the previous 9.1% increase from June 2022. Increased cost of items such as food, energy, and new vehicles reached double digits, but Hepner says Tennessee’s economy is faring well, compared to many other states.

“There’s frankly nowhere else I would rather be than right here in Tennessee,” stated Hepner. “I think that even as the national economy starts to teeter on the brink of a recession, I think that Tennessee’s economy is fairly strong. I think here we will start to see pricing pressures continue to come down and there’s so much attractive about this state, it’s so valuable for businesses and consumers, for firms and employees so I think the Tennessee economy is going to remain pretty strong.”

Dr. Hepner does not say that Tennessee is totally out of the woods economically because there are still things that could have a negative impact, such as events overseas like the war in Ukraine.

“Prosperity requires peace, and we don’t have that if the war in Europe expands and it will certainly have a ripple effect throughout Europe which does affect us,” Hepner said. “What happens overseas does affect us here. So, I think that can create some future inflationary pressure.”

CPI data for August 2022 is expected to be released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on September 13.

About the Author: Jason Vaughn, Media Coordinator for The Tennessee Conservative  ~ Jason previously worked for a legacy publishing company based in Crossville, TN in a variety of roles through his career.  Most recently, he served as Deputy Director for their flagship publication. Prior, he was a freelance journalist writing articles that appeared in the Herald Citizen, the Crossville Chronicle and The Oracle among others.  He graduated from Tennessee Technological University with a Bachelor’s in English-Journalism, with minors in Broadcast Journalism and History.  Contact Jason at news@TennesseeConservativeNews.com

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