Market, pump prices starting to hit wallets | NevadaAppeal.com

Market, pump prices starting to hit wallets

John Barrette
jbarrette@nevadaappeal.com

With prices at the gasoline pump and in supermarkets heading higher, Carson City residents and visitors lament their plight.

“It hurts,” said Monica Ward, a Carson City native and an employee of the school district. She made her comments while loading groceries into a car in Smith’s supermarket parking lot. “I don’t know which is worse, gas or food.”

In Raley’s supermarket parking lot, a visitor to Carson City was just as disturbed with the core cost of living.

“I ain’t likin’ it,” said Garlan Payne, who lives in Lexington, S.C. but is in town visiting relatives. He was putting groceries in his car when he added: “The wages aren’t going up, but everything else is.”

Food prices could go even higher, thanks to this dry year, despite an Associated Press report that Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack doesn’t expect it.

“Americans shouldn’t see immediate increases in food prices due to the drought,” he was quoted as saying.

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Yet Rick Whitacre, an Illinois State University professor of agriculture economics, sounded less optimistic.

He expects an impact in meat and poultry prices because as feed costs rise stocks will be thinned by producers.

And a United Nations agency said a boost in the cost of grain and sugar helped drive up global food prices. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization’s Food Price Index climbed 6 percent in July.

In Carson City, Grocery Outlet manager Shellie Becker agreed prices have edged up, though she said that store tries to keep them as low or lower than any outlet in the community.

“Yeah, and they’re going higher,” she said. “We try to do it (raise prices) as little as possible.”

Gas prices also are on the move upward and vexing folks, particularly those with larger vehicles such as trucks.

Greg Nixon, a Carson City banker, lamented the rise while at the Valero station pump outside the Save-Mart supermarket on the city’s north side. He said loading up a truck like his can cost $100 or more, a regular car about $40.

“It just seems like there’s always an excuse to jack the prices up,” he said.

Regular gas prices around the city included $3.59 per gallon at that Valero station, which matched the 7-Eleven price across North Carson street.

The lowest price Monday in the city, according to nevadagasprices.com, was at the 7-Eleven outlet where College Parkway meets U.S. Highway 50. It was $3.55 per gallon.

The same source indicated prices in Nevada averaged $3.592, compared with $3.468 a week ago and $3.441 a month ago.

• The Associated Press contributed to this report.