Allison, a mother from Chicago, told the New York Post that as she sees her grocery bill keep rising, her family is starting to feel the pinch.
“There are no more splurges like going to Home Depot to buy an extra plant or eating out,” Allison said.
Many Americans are in the same position as Allison. Inflation is growing worse across the U.S., and now producers are warning their consumers that this is a problem that will not be going away soon.
Procter & Gamble, for example, announced that many of its prices will rise in the coming weeks since the cost of raw materials remains high, according to the Post. The company owns huge brands like Tide, Gillette and Crest.
“We do not anticipate any easing of costs,” P&G chief financial officer Andre Schulten said. “We continue to see increases week after week, though at a slower pace.”
The Post cited an interview Schulten gave to The Wall Street Journal, though the WSJ appears to have removed that specific quote.
And this is not P&G’s first announcement of a price hike. Back in April, the company warned that many paper products would begin costing more, including essentials such as tampons, diapers and paper towels.
And other corporate giants such as Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and General Mills have warned buyers throughout the year that costs will keep going up, according to CNBC.
These costs keep climbing in the aftermath of the economic disruption of COVID-19, and now everyone is suffering from inflation.
Do you think inflation is making your grocery bill higher?
The Wall Street Journal reported that U.S. inflation has reached the highest level seen in a decade.
This comes from the jump in the cost of the most basic materials that every producer needs. Lumber costs skyrocketed this spring, and wheat, copper, oil, corn, wood-pulp and other such essential raw materials have seen big surges in prices after last year’s COVID-19 economic crashes.
And with the price of materials rising, it’s only natural that corporate prices are going to follow suit. For instance, The Wall Street Journal reported that P&G is expecting to spend $2.1 billion more on transportation and raw materials. And though P&G’s shares have risen 2 percent, other giants like Unilever, Colgate-Palmolive and Kimberly-Clark have watched their shares fall 7 percent or more.
Many are labeling this era “Bidenflation.” And Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has warned that she expects it to last a while.
“Supply bottlenecks have developed that have caused inflation. I believe that they’re transitory, but that doesn’t mean they’ll go away over the next several months,” Yellen said in a recent CNBC interview.
This current inflation is unsurprising after such a massive economic shutdown during COVID-19. But it’s a sharp contrast to the economic health and low inflation rates of previous years.
In 2018 and 2019, inflation rates were 2.4 percent and 1.8 percent. Last month, however, the Federal Reserve had to raise its estimated inflation rate for the year from 3.4 percent to 4.2 percent, according to MarketWatch.
Though inflation is obviously hitting corporate America hard, it is also damaging the entire distribution chain of the United States, meaning that every single person going into the grocery store is going to run into problems finding and affording what they need.
Moody’s Analytics reported that the current inflation means that families are having to spend an extra $175 a month on the basic necessities of housing, food and fuel.
These are the unfortunate costs that Americans now have to pay in the aftermath of COVID-19 and such upheaval of the economic structure and broader culture. After massive unemployment and a deep dive in the prices of raw materials during COVID-19 shutdowns last year, as things recover, prices are surging.
Like Allison’s family, many will begin to feel they can no longer afford splurges. And there are no signs of this ending soon.