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Inflation expectations are causing this toy store owner to stock up

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"We have everything from plush Easter bunnies to Easter chocolate," said toy store owner Irene Kesselman. "As well as other things that are non-Easter that will go into a basket, like bath bombs and pencils and that kind of thing."

"We have everything from plush Easter bunnies to Easter chocolate," said toy store owner Irene Kesselman. "As well as other things that are non-Easter that will go into a basket, like bath bombs and pencils and that kind of thing." Andy Lyons/Getty Images

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For Irene Kesselman, owner of Ali Cat Toys in Carrboro, North Carolina, the weeks leading up to Easter are a pretty big shopping season. This year, according to a survey from the National Retail Federation, consumers expect to spend nearly $170 on the holiday, including food and gifts.

Easter’s not the only thing that’s filling up her store shelves, both front-of-house and back. Kesselman is also watching inflation, which is still at historic highs. The personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index — the Federal Reserve’s favored inflation measure — rose 6.4% in the 12 months through February. Kesselman expects that to continue.

“My inventory is really high right now,” she said. “In fact, it’s probably equivalent to a holiday fourth quarter. I did that primarily because of the threat of price increases, so I try to order as much as I could up front.”

To listen to Kesselman’s story, use the media player above.

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