By Jessica Albert

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Inflation is up 6.8% compared to this time last year, the fastest increase since the ’80s, experts say.

Though most items cost more now than they did a year ago, a Baltimore boutique isn’t on board with charging customers more.

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“We’re not comfortable passing along those additional costs to customers,” says Megan McCloskey of Sassanova in Harbor East.

Sassanova employees are working around the higher cost of materials by changing how they do business. This includes changing the way they ship and purchase merchandise.

“As a small business, it’s always been incumbent upon us to really hustle and to do more with less,” McCloskey says. “So, this really kind of is no different than what we’ve been doing for years.”

Among the products with the highest price increases are: gas, which is up 58%; used cars, which are up 31%; food, which is up about 6%; and clothes, which are up 5%.

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JP Krahel, an associate accounting professor for Loyola University Maryland, says inflation usually hovers around 2%.

“[inflation] could be for a number of reasons,” Krahel says. “It could be that the demand for goods has increased, because the dollar has lost value. The supply of goods has gone down and the problem now is that we’re kind of in the perfect storm where all of that’s happening.”

Krahel says that the best way to keep up with the higher prices is by planning ahead.

“People need to be prepared for a little bit of sticker shock when they go to buy a gift for a loved one, when they drive cross country to see somebody, gas prices are up,” Krahel says. “There’s a lot to consider. So, just keep your eyes open and understand how prices are going to affect you.”

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Experts don’t have a date for when inflation will decrease. But they hope things will begin to normalize, which will inform businesses’ long-term plans.

Jessica Albert