OMAHA — Creighton University Economist Ernie Goss says stores shouldn’t have the trouble with stocking merchandise this year they’ve had with the supply chain in past years.

“We’ve seen that improve significantly and inventory levels are pretty good. And that’s going to provide a lot of a lot of goods out there for individuals to purchase,” Goss says.

The supply of retail employees could be an issue. “The problem is the retailers are having issues finding and hiring those qualified workers. So you may find a product that you may have to stand in line a little bit longer to check it out,” Goss says. Goss says the global economy is slowing down with China in a recession, and that could impact some holiday buying.

“And what that mean means is the U.S. dollar is up significantly. And that means for the U.S. consumer, is that dollar is going to go a longer way in purchasing imported goods. So you’ll find more bargains, imported goods this year than you did last year,” he says. Goss says you can help your area merchants by shopping at their stores.

“If your local merchant is price competitive, service competitive, it helps us all to buy locally. That has a significant impact on the local economy, whereas buying from merchants such as Amazon has a less of an impact on the local economy,” Goss says. Goss says holiday sales are likely to be up this year — but he says most of that is in inflation — and retailers are not going to make much once inflation is taken out.