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Increased demand, price hikes affecting local businesses and consumers – Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal

AMORY – Local business owners say relief is in sight from recent supply and demand issues fueling price hikes across multiple industries during the past year. Shortages of certain goods have made it difficult for consumers to either find prices they’re used to paying for certain items or even finding the items at all.

In the lumber industry, a surge of home improvement projects and new home construction during last year’s lockdown led to an increase in demand and subsequent high prices. Jim Cook of Nabors Home Center detailed some of the fluctuations he’s seen in the past year in lumber prices.

“Two-by-four studs that were $8.50 each a few days ago are $7.79 now. At the start of 2020, they were around $3. Prices are coming back, but they’re still not close to what they were,” he recently said.

According to Cook, they recently experienced the biggest decrease in wholesale prices the industry has ever witnessed and those prices are continuing to fall.

In the automotive industry, a shortage of new vehicles has created a higher demand and subsequently higher prices for used vehicles.

Corey Clark, co-owner of Clark Ford in Amory, explained the vehicle shortage dealerships are experiencing started with a computer chip shortage.

“The same computer chips that run your TV run your vehicle. As factories shut down and manufacturers cancelled orders, a shortage was created that we’re just now really feeling the effects of,” he said.

Clark said that the normal turnaround time in the auto supply chain is approximately three months, but it’s now taking closer to six months. He expects the industry to return to normal by fall.

According to the dealership owner, this shortage has caused a 30 percent hike in the price of used cars.

Tessa Capps, financial manager at Haney’s Auto Sales, said the number is reflective of its experience in the used vehicle market.

“It’s hard to purchase anything and make a profit because demand is so high. Our biggest thing has been transport and getting [vehicles] here in a timely manner,” she said.

Ronald Minga, owner of Minga and Sons Small Engines, said small engines are still in short supply, but he’s hopeful for a comeback.

“Lawnmowers, weed eaters, chainsaws, the warehouses are just empty. And even if you can get the parts, you can’t get them shipped,” he said.

Minga, whose display shelves are currently bare, said things seem to be picking up and he’s hopeful for a turnaround by September. They’ve managed to get two lawnmowers ordered, but they are already sold.

“People have been very understanding. They know there’s a wait everywhere you go right now,” Minga said.