CLEVELAND, Ohio—Holiday shoppers don't seem to be finding any relief with their purchases, as prices remain steady even if inflation appears to be cooling.  

What You Need To Know

  • Inflation is lower, but prices are still the same 

  • Prices remain higher because of factors such as increased wages 

  • Prices will likely remain at this level, unless something else affects the economy 

Michael Goldberg, an associate professor at the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University, confirmed that inflation has eased, but that alone won’t affect prices for consumers. 

“Wages have gone up and prices have gone up, and neither wages nor prices are really decreasing, so higher prices are here to stay with a lot of items,” he said.

The higher prices, Goldberg said, have helped corporations’ bottom lines. The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis showed estimated corporate profits in the third quarter of this year were just shy of its peak in the third quarter of 2022. Revised corporate profits were due to be released Dec. 21. 

“Prices are still growing, and I think unfortunately for those of us that still have holiday shopping still to do now, we’re not necessarily going to see a return to 2019 level prices,” he said.

For now, Goldberg said he doesn’t believe prices will increase, but said the economy is sensitive to external events.

“The only thing that is certain is uncertainty and unpredictably as it relates to prices, inflation and just international markets,” he said.