Prices Keep Heading Higher!

26 Aug

Prices Keep Heading Higher!

Less Bang for Your Buck

Rapidly rising prices are hitting Americans hard. 

A recent Fox News poll reveals that 83 percent of Americans are now “very” or “extremely” concerned about inflation. 

That concern is not just theoretical.  Rising grocery prices are already causing financial hardship for 70 percent of voters.  29 percent say their families are experiencing “serious” hardship.

Concern cuts across party lines, with inflation topping the list of concerns among both Democrats (80 percent) and Republicans (88 percent). The hardships are not limited to rising grocery prices, according to the Fox national poll.  “The pocketbook pain is the same for gas prices, currently averaging $3 a gallon nationally, with 68 percent saying it is a hardship.  That includes 29 percent who say it is a “serious” hardship.  Some 57 percent call increases in health care costs a hardship and 45 percent say the same about mortgage/rent.”

Are more price increases ahead?  Supply chain confusion and policies that pay workers not to work are cast a shadow ahead.  A Zero Hedge story with the headline “Largest US Food Distributor Having Trouble Keeping Shelves Stocked; Price Shock Imminent,” says that “food inflation is about to soar.” 

“The company [Sysco] said prices for key goods such as chicken, pork, and paper products for takeout packaging are climbing amid tight supplies. In particular, production has slowed for high-demand, labor-intensive cuts like bacon, ribs, wings, and tenders, Sysco said. And if intermediate and final wholesale prices are ‘rising’, just wait until they emerge on the consumer side.”

Employers having difficulty attracting workers will pass higher pay along in the form of higher consumer prices.  In Britain, the Sun reports that supermarket executives are warning of shortages in food supplies for Christmas:

“Poultry farmers warned they cannot get enough staff and will produce 20% fewer turkeys this Christmas.

“Vegetable farmers face problems too. They are short of workers to pick produce and also face higher costs to pack cabbage, broccoli, and sprouts plus longer delivery times due to a lack of drivers.”

Meanwhile, “shrinkflation,” marketing goods in smaller packages to conceal price increases, is spreading. 

The website Mouse Print reports these examples:

  • Bounty paper towels:
    Triple rolls of Bounty paper towels lost 18 sheets per roll going from 165 sheets to just 147.
  • Costco’s toilet paper:
    The new roll went from 425 sheets down to 380 sheets, a total loss of over three rolls in each package.
  • Dial Body Wash:
    Bottles recently lost almost 25% of the contents, going from 21 ounces to only 16, a 25 percent reduction.
  • Ziploc freezer bags:
    From 54 bags last year, the packages are now just 50 bags. this year.
  • Quaker Instant Oatmeal:
    Some varieties have shrunk from 10 packs last year, to just 8 this year.