RGV economist suggests postponing holiday shopping amid rising prices

Local News

HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Rising prices across the country are expected to impact holiday travel this season.

Meanwhile, local leaders are anticipating an increase in border travel but with increasing prices, the Rio Grande Valley economy may not have a boost from tourists this season.

As the holidays are approaching, consumer prices are increasing on various items like food and gifts. Teo Sepulveda, an economist with South Texas College said there needs to be a pause on expensive holiday shopping.

“The recommendation regardless of the situation is to postpone purchases, let’s say that new vacation people had in mind. The high prices are telling us right now just wait until they come down.” Sepulveda went on to say, “because right now it would just push the supply networks unnecessarily fast.”

He explained what we’re going through right now is something completely different from what we have ever experienced.

“Because we’re still trying to figure out how to produce as we did before while we were trying to practice some type of physical distancing,” said Sepulveda. 

Although the U.S.-Mexico borders are open, Sepulveda said those increasing prices are also felt by Mexican tourists which is why many may not come for the holidays.

“The Mexican economy had one of the biggest contractions so their incomes are not back to normal purchasing behavior as before so we cannot expect a huge influx,” said Sepulveda. 

However, he suggested for those who must purchase something pricey buy it two weeks in advance. 

Eventually, Sepulveda said the rising prices should go down.

“Let’s say in six months or a little bit more, prices should go back to normal once we clear up all of our supply networks,” he said.

Sepulveda added he expects people can go back to their regular shopping for the next holiday season without worrying about the price and shipping time.

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