Pitt Co. businesses weigh in on inflation impact as rates slow

PITT COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) – Prices rose 7.1% in November, down from 7.7% in October. That’s based on numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Prices may be going up a bit slower, but how does that impact the bottom line for businesses? WITN talked to some in Pitt County Tuesday to get that very answer.

Business at Pirate’s Popcorn in Greenville is heating up. Co-owner Erika Edmundson said these next two weeks are their peak season.

“We did see a little bit less for Halloween this year. I’m hoping that Christmas doesn’t reflect that as well,” Edmundson said.

There may be hope for business owners, like Edmundson, and shoppers alike. Inflation, measured by the Consumer Price Index, is at its lowest level in nearly a year.

“We value our customers, and we have really tried to absorb a lot of the cost that we possibly can,” Confection Connection Co-owner Tim Woolard said. “The phone has been ringing nonstop this morning.”

But with the more they sell, the more they’ve had to spend.

“Anything you ship is extremely expensive, and they won’t pull those prices back until diesel is back to $3 a gallon,” Woolard explained.

At New River Pottery, the holiday rush is already through.

“Typically, people are decorating usually the weekend of Thanksgiving, the weekend after Thanksgiving,” New River Pottery Corporate Manager Bill Pittman said.

As he looks ahead, easing inflation may be the perfect Christmas gift.

“You kind of have ebbs and flows as far as the business cycles go,” Pittman explained. “So we’ll just move on to next year and hope for a better year.”

The November Consumer Price Index headline rate of 7.1% marked the fifth month in a row that it’s gone down. It was also better than economists’ expectation of 7.3%.