ARKANSAS, USA — Despite rising inflation, economists say people are still spending more this year.
"Overall consumers have been out and about more in 2022 than they were in 2021. which is partially why you see higher levels of inflation in 2022 than you have in 2021, we have a lot more people participating in the economy," said Mervin Jebaraj, director of business and economic research at the University of Arkansas
He adds that inflation rates are slowing down.
"Data seems to indicate that prices have been declining since their highs in the summer and they're headed in a downward trajectory," Jebaraj explained.
A Bentonville boutique says it's also seeing the trend of increased spending…especially this time of year despite inflation
"I would say most people haven't been affected around here by the inflation and the changes in prices. I haven't seen sales slowdown or anything... if anything I feel like they're really gone up," Brika Bentonville team lead- Mariana Beard said.
That's not the case for a bookstore in downtown rogers. The "Bike Lane" owner relies heavily on tourists to shop at her store but is asking for more local support.
"The neat thing that small business can offer is an experience. You don't get an experience shopping online; you get an experience when you walk through the door at a small business, and you can talk to somebody face to face. They can recommend something exciting for you, and you can also sit and enjoy the atmosphere," Welborn said.
Some families are resorting to alternative yet meaningful options to save money this holiday season, such as the Woodard/White Family:
"For gift giving we get a jar basically and everybody writes their names down three times, then we pass the jar around and everybody picks out names, and the names you pick those are who you buy gifts for,"
As a growing family, their gift-giving hack is a tradition they started during the pandemic, and they plan to continue it throughout the years.
"I would say overall we probably cut our costs down 50%," Woodard said.
Even their furry family member's name goes into the hat: "Charlie just loves treats and if he gets one little chew toy he is fine!"
The family also has a three-day tradition of going to the movies, having a family sleepover, and having a game night.
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