> SUBSCRIBE FOR FREE! 

Shopping

A Black Friday shopper wearing a face mask leaves a Walmart store with a TV in Pic Rivera Calif., Friday, Nov. 26, 2021. From appliance stores in the United States to food markets in Hungary and gas stations in Poland, rising consumer prices fueled by high energy costs and supply chain disruptions are putting a pinch on households and businesses worldwide. As economies recover from lockdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, increased consumer demand has helped lead to rising inflation. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu, File)

From appliance stores in the United States to food markets in Hungary and gas stations in Poland, rising consumer prices fueled by high energy costs and supply chain disruptions are putting a pinch on households and businesses worldwide, according to an Associated Press report.

Rising inflation is leading to price increases for food, gas and other products and pushing many people to choose between digging deeper into their pockets or tightening their belts. In developing economies, it’s especially dire.

“We’ve noticed that we’re consuming less,” Gabor Pardi, a shopper at an open-air food market in Hungary’s capital, Budapest, said after buying a sack of fresh vegetables recently. “We try to shop for the cheapest and most economical things, even if they don’t look as good.”

Nearly two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic impact of the crisis is still being felt even after countries raced out of debilitating lockdowns and consumer demand rebounded. Now, another surge of infections and a new coronavirus variant, omicron, are leading countries to tighten their borders and impose other restrictions, threatening the global economic recovery.

Omicron has raised new fears that factories, ports and freight yards could be forced to close temporarily, putting more strain on global commerce and sending prices even higher.

“A new round of infections could further aggravate supply chains, putting even more upward pressure on inflation,” said Rubeela Farooqi, chief U.S. economist at High-Frequency Economics.

Click here to read the full Associated Press report.