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Posted (edited)

When it’s the lead headline on both CNN and Drudge it probably deserves its own thread.  Hopefully we can keep the politics to a minimum and focus on the indicators and remedies.

Prices are rising everywhere you look

By Julia Horowitz, CNN Business.  Updated 10:16 AM ET, Sun May 9, 2021

London (CNN Business)Everywhere you look, there are headlines about higher prices.

Some are tied to commodities, which are getting snapped up as the global economy emerges from its long slumber. Lumber prices are at an all-time high thanks to an epic home-building boom. Copper and steel prices have also reached records.

Agricultural products aren't exempt. The price of corn is at its highest level since 2012. Same goes for soybean prices. Even sales of block cheese futures have been soaring in anticipation of grilling season.

Then there's consumer products. Diaper prices have gone up in the past year, and two major producers — Kimberly-Clark (KMB) and Procter & Gamble (PG) — have warned customers that fresh hikes are coming. Shortages of computer chips, meanwhile, are helping to push up car prices, and could soon do the same for electronics and household appliances.

This doesn't just matter for Americans guarding their pocketbooks. Price increases are also being closely scrutinized by investors and economists, who are desperate to know: Is this a passing phenomenon as the country emerges from a once-in-a-lifetime economic shock, or a more sustained trend that evokes the 1970s?

The answer to that question will have huge consequences for financial markets. If the Federal Reserve starts to think there is a real problem with inflation, it could boost interest rates or taper its bond purchases sooner than expected. That would spark a dramatic sell-off in high-growth assets, whose rise has set the tone for investing in the pandemic era.

But wait: The Federal Reserve has been extremely clear that it believes inflation will be transitory.

"An episode of one-time price increases as the economy reopens is not the same thing as — and is not likely to lead to — persistently higher year-over-year inflation into the future," Fed Chair Jerome Powell told reporters late last month. "Indeed, it is the Fed's job to make sure that that does not happen."

Most economists agree with this view, even if they admit we're in unprecedented territory. In a paper published on Friday, top economists, including Laurence Ball of Johns Hopkins University and Gita Gopinath, the chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, said they expect "a rise in inflation that is modest and temporary," and note that government spending under the Biden administration doesn't appear to be a threat.

"Overall, we see little risk that the current temporary government spending for pandemic relief causes an inflationary spiral," they wrote.

Additional spending proposals on infrastructure, jobs and health care, the economists added, are worth monitoring. But since spending is "likely to be spread over a longer period [and] be partially offset by tax measures," that "could limit overheating concerns."

Edited by ekbeats
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I just keep going back to 2008, wishing we'd done it differently then.  I don't have the time or energy to connect all of the dots from the bailout then to now, but I firmly believe there was some str

We already tried that in 2020 during the "most on fire economy the country's ever seen" and you're seeing the effects real time, today: https://www.oxfordgoldgroup.com/news/strategist-almost-20-p

That is true.  A lot of that was simply because inflation is tough to reel in once it gets rolling.  I think everyone knows we are putting inflationary pressures on our economy today and we really don

From the Wall St. Journal today:

Higher Prices Leave Consumers Feeling the Pinch

Rising costs for everything from fresh fruit to freezers are shaping purchase decisions

Costs are rising at every step in the production of many goods, leading to higher price tags for consumers.

Jaewon Kang, May 9, 2021 5:30 am ET

Americans accustomed to years of low inflation are beginning to pay sharply higher prices for goods and services as the economy strains to rev back up and the pandemic wanes. 

Price tags on consumer goods from processed meat to dishwashing products have risen by double-digit percentages from a year ago, according to NielsenIQ.Whirlpool Corp. WHR 1.09% freezers and dishwashers and Scotts Miracle-Gro Co.SMG 1.53% lawn and garden products are also getting costlier, the companies say. Some consumers are feeling stretched.

Kaitlyn Vinson, a program manager in Denver, said her recent $275 bill at a Costco Wholesale Corp.COST 0.41% store, which included razors and cotton pads on top of her typical grocery list, was more expensive than usual. Ms. Vinson said she switched from buying fresh to frozen fruit and vegetables because they are less expensive and last longer.

Kaitlyn Vinson said her recent bill at a Costco store was more expensive than usual.

“We’re sacrificing the food that I really like to cook just to be cheaper,” she said.

Costs are rising at every step in the production of many goods. Prices for oil, crops and other commodities have shot up this year. Trucking companies are paying scarce drivers more to take those materials to factories and construction sites. As a result, companies are charging more for foods and consumer products including foil wraps and disposable cups.

Kellogg Co. , maker of Frosted Flakes, Cheez-Its and Pringles, said Thursday that higher costs for ingredients, labor and shipping are pushing it and other food makers to raise prices. “We haven’t seen this type of inflation in many, many years,” Chief Executive Officer Steve Cahillane said.

Investors and economists are watching whether the higher prices drive up broader measures of inflation, which have been muted for years. 

Consumer prices jumped 2.6% in the year ended in March, according to the Labor Department, the biggest 12-month increase since August 2018.

As higher costs ripple through supply chains, more companies are concluding that their customers will accept higher prices. “They’ve seen price increases throughout the entire store,” Whirlpool CEO Marc Bitzer said. “I don’t think anybody is surprised right now.”

Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., said during the conglomerate’s annual meeting May 1that the economy is experiencing a substantial run-up in prices. “We’re raising prices, people are raising prices to us, and it’s being accepted,” Mr. Buffett said. “It’s an economy really that’s red hot, and we weren’t expecting it.”

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said on April 28 that inflationary pressures resulting from supply-chain problems would likely be temporaryand wouldn’t prompt the central bank to change policies aimed to keep borrowing costs down. 

Some manufacturers didn’t pass higher costs along to consumers in the thick of the coronavirus pandemic last year partly because they didn’t want to charge people more for staples during a crisis, said Chris Testa, president of distributor United Natural Foods Inc. Instead, many manufacturers pulled back on discounts. Now, some food and consumer-product makers are raising prices by up to 10%, he said.

Costs for apples are up 10% to 20% depending on the variety, said Mike Ferguson, vice president of produce and floral at Topco Associates LLC, an Elk Grove Village, Ill.-based cooperative of more than 40 food companies including grocer Wegmans Food Markets Inc. Bananas and leafy greens are more expensive too, Topco said, while vegetable oils and oil-heavy products like salad dressing and mayonnaise are also getting pricier in part because of higher ingredient prices.

“Our overall goal is to cover cost increases,” said Jon Moeller, operating chief at Procter & Gamble Co. Procter & Gamble is raising prices on baby products, adult diapers and feminine-care brands. 

Competitor Kimberly-Clark Corp. said it would increase prices by mid-to-high single digits on Scott bathroom tissues, Depend adult diapers and Huggies baby-care products. 

H. Kenneth Fleetwood, a songwriter in Nashville, said he has shifted to buying more generic staples such as detergent and recently shopped around for a television and monitor for his studio before finding the lowest price at Walmart Inc.

“Penny-pinching is becoming the name of the game,” he said.

Devon Dalton, a sales director in Charlotte, N.C., said he is also buying more store brands and signed up for a fuel-savings program that gives him cash rewards at gas stations after he and his wife recently paid $20,000 more than the listing price to buy their first home. 

“Everything is getting a bit tighter,” Mr. Dalton said. “We’re trying to think what would be a good way to stay smart with our money.”

Restaurant prices are rising, too. High demand for wings and a spate of new fast-food chicken sandwiches is pushing up chicken prices. Takeaway containers and coolers are more expensive than usual because production of resin, a key ingredient in plastic, was disrupted by winter storms in the South this year. Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. said in April that it had raised prices for delivered food by 4%.

Kevin Hourican, CEO of food-distributor Sysco Corp., said that even at higher prices the pent-up demand for restaurants is enormous. “People feel bad for their local restaurants. They want to support them,” he said. 

Khisna Holloway, an office manager for a school in Los Angeles, recently ate at a Mexican restaurant with her husband for the first time in more than a year. She noticed her preferred combo of cheese enchilada and chili relleno cost about $4 more than the last time she visited. She didn’t mind.

“It felt like a treat,” she said.

Some people are delaying purchases, hoping prices will recede.

Nick Davison said he bought a graphics card for his computer for about $400 in February 2020. He said similar components now sell for more than $1,000 on eBay. He wants to build a second computer to mine cryptocurrency, but plans to wait to see if component prices decrease. 

“It doesn’t seem smart to spend that much money on something that may go down in the future,” he said.

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Long term rates are so low.  It just doesn’t seem to be much of a concern at the moment.  I worried much more about inflation a dozen years ago than I do now.

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32 minutes ago, FairWarning said:

I’m in the stores every day, prices are rising.  People want $15/hour wages, you got them.

Dod you think it’s wages droving this?  The first few articles above tend to show its more cost of goods than labor.

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40 minutes ago, FairWarning said:

I’m in the stores every day, prices are rising.  People want $15/hour wages, you got them.

Really? Because my wife lost her job of 32 years at a small private college a year ago and can't find anything besides a part time gig job paying $11/hr with no benefits.

We'd love for her find a $15/hr. job.

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Don't when you print a lot of money and hand it out it devalues the dollar, thus inflation?

I mean isn't that the crux of it?

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9 minutes ago, Amused to Death said:

Really? Because my wife lost her job of 32 years at a small private college a year ago and can't find anything besides a part time gig job paying $11/hr with no benefits.

We'd love for her find a $15/hr. job.

First I’m sorry she lost her job, especially close to retirement.   Second, it’s regional, but there are jobs everywhere In my area.  I hope she can find find something soon.

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23 minutes ago, Sea Duck said:

Where besides Seattle?

Businesses are paying more or they will lose their help.  

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, ekbeats said:

Here is the counter position that inflation isn’t coming - a recent article from Barron’s:

Inflation Isn’t Happening, and It Likely Won’t. Here Are 7 Charts Showing This.

Commodity	Price 5/6/2021	Price 1/1/2020	% Increase
Beef	       20.39	       14.21	       43%
Poultry	       7.14	            5.35	       34%
Lean Hog	   111.4	        68.55	       63%
Canola	       1003	            545	           84%
Wheat	       765	            554	           38%
Coffee	       149	            103	           45%
Sugar	       17.58	        13.31	       32%
Corn	       760	            392	           32%
Wool	       1319	            1558	      -15%
Lumber	       1645	            407	          304%
Milk	       23.57	        16.93	       39%
Gasoline	   2.1171	        1.7155	       23%
Heating Oil	   1.989	        2.02	     -1.5%
Crude	       64.93	        63.54	      2.2%

Unless Barron's is aiming for a big wool purchase they're full of ####.  The above chart is an aggregate of, what, a 40% increase since before the pandemic started?

Also, used cars - complete explosion.  House prices - off the charts.

Edited by Sand
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46 minutes ago, sho nuff said:

Dod you think it’s wages droving this?  The first few articles above tend to show its more cost of goods than labor.

Of course not.

We ALL know that Trump did it!!

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Posted (edited)

I'm stupid about the economy so maybe I'm misunderstanding everything that follows this, but I don't really understand how inflation couldn't be in the cards at some point with the insane amount of money we are printing.

If you just comb through the fed's balance sheets for an hour it will truly blow your mind.

It's so crazy that the fed has printed something like almost $5 trillion in the last year just to use to buy bonds to add liquidity to the stock market and it's not even something that gets talked about in discussions like these.  That's how insane this world we are in right now is, where the fed can print $5 trillion out of thin air, completely on the public record, and no one even notices.

The only reason people even talk about spending in other sectors like stimulus or anything else is because it can be made political.  People arguing where we're going to get $5 billion for a wall or $8 billion for student loan aid while the fed is just sitting in the corner printing literally a thousand times that amount for market liquidity that can't be politicized and it doesn't even come up in the discussion.

Hot take:  No one gives a crap about spending.  There's a reason $5-$10 billion in spending that can be placed on one political side or the other is argued about for years while trillions upon trillions for something that can be placed on one political side or the other is completely ignored.

Edited by FreeBaGeL
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21 minutes ago, FreeBaGeL said:

It's so crazy that the fed has printed something like almost $5 trillion in the last year just to use to buy bonds to add liquidity to the stock market and it's not even something that gets talked about in discussions like these.  That's how insane this world we are in right now is, where the fed can print $5 trillion out of thin air, completely on the public record, and no one even notices.

Creating bank reserves to buy primarily basic government bonds just doesn't matter to a lot of people. It's just an asset swap and those reserves can't be anything but reserves. It doesn't end up in the broader economy people think about. Most people should just ignore it, unless they are trading in the money market.

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56 minutes ago, Opie said:

Of course not.

We ALL know that Trump did it!!

I didnt say such a thing or infer it.  Actually keeping it non-political as the OP asked.

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3 hours ago, ekbeats said:

Here is the counter position that inflation isn’t coming - a recent article from Barron’s:

Inflation Isn’t Happening, and It Likely Won’t. Here Are 7 Charts Showing This.

That is paywalled, not sure if you can share it. Still, this makes sense:

The latest reading of the consumer price index shows that Americans’ cost of living was only 1.7% higher in February 2021 than a year earlier. That’s the fastest inflation reading since the pandemic began, but still substantially slower than the pre-pandemic average. Exclude volatile food and energy prices, and inflation is running at 1.3%

Consumers are not buying input commodities. They are buying final goods and services. Input commodities have some impact on final prices, but there are also wages and productivity in that equation. Prices have gone up on some things, prices have fallen on others. Policymakers have to look at the general level to understand and not overreact.

This exact dynamic played out a decade ago (including on the board) after the initial QE and spending surge with TARP/ARRA replete with claims the government is lying about inflation and predictions the dollar/US gov't would destabilize. That didn't happen and it likely won't happen now.

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2 hours ago, sho nuff said:

Dod you think it’s wages droving this?  The first few articles above tend to show its more cost of goods than labor.

Yes,  I own a preschool so increasing minimum wage impacts our cost of services.  Payroll is 75 % of my expenses.  Don’t you realize that increasing operating costs means higher prices for goods?

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22 minutes ago, Desert_Power said:

That is paywalled, not sure if you can share it. Still, this makes sense:

Not paywalled for me, and I never subscribed to Barron’s.

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1 hour ago, sho nuff said:

I didnt say such a thing or infer it.  Actually keeping it non-political as the OP asked.

Give it time...

....you will.

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39 minutes ago, stlrams said:

Yes,  I own a preschool so increasing minimum wage impacts our cost of services.  Payroll is 75 % of my expenses.  Don’t you realize that increasing operating costs means higher prices for goods?

I was talking about the thread in particular and the articles mentioned.

$15 minimum wage does not appear to be the culprit. 
Yes higher wages can affect that...but also be good for the workers.

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5 minutes ago, Opie said:

Give it time...

....you will.

Cool...until then, try sticking with the actual discussion and what is actually said.

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1 hour ago, stlrams said:

Yes,  I own a preschool so increasing minimum wage impacts our cost of services.  Payroll is 75 % of my expenses.  Don’t you realize that increasing operating costs means higher prices for goods?

You do realize that preschools aren’t the only businesses around, no?

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3 hours ago, Amused to Death said:

Really? Because my wife lost her job of 32 years at a small private college a year ago and can't find anything besides a part time gig job paying $11/hr with no benefits.

We'd love for her find a $15/hr. job.

Where?  I see Ace Hardware and Taco Bells offering 15 an hour.   If I were 20 and still in school and single I would be all over these jobs.  I planted sod and busted my back for 10 bucks an hour in 2008.

 

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7 minutes ago, Summer Wheat said:

Where?  I see Ace Hardware and Taco Bells offering 15 an hour.   If I were 20 and still in school and single I would be all over these jobs.  I planted sod and busted my back for 10 bucks an hour in 2008.

 

Same here.  I washed dishes for $3.35 an hour when I was 16.  That’s only $8.61 in 2021 dollars.

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4 hours ago, shadrap said:

Don't when you print a lot of money and hand it out it devalues the dollar, thus inflation?

I mean isn't that the crux of it?

The last dozen years seems to contradict that. I don't understand why.

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2 hours ago, sho nuff said:

I was talking about the thread in particular and the articles mentioned.

$15 minimum wage does not appear to be the culprit. 
Yes higher wages can affect that...but also be good for the workers.

Yeah it’s great for workers but what about the every day people?  I know you and politicians get wrap up in what’s good for workers but the please focus on theses words  - purchasing power.  Whatever your hourly wage is doesn’t not matter.......  if you earn more does not mean you have more money in your pocket..  using your argument let the minimum wane be $100 per hour

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1 hour ago, Alex P Keaton said:

You do realize that preschools aren’t the only businesses around, no?

I gave that as a real example of the impact a $15 minimum wage but there are countless examples outside of preschools.  You have absolutely no understanding of real life problems that exist when politicians play with the economics for the sake of policies.  Why not $100 minimum wage?.

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4 hours ago, sho nuff said:

I was talking about the thread in particular and the articles mentioned.

$15 minimum wage does not appear to be the culprit. 
Yes higher wages can affect that...but also be good for the workers.

Only if it stays ahead of the price of goods.  

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6 hours ago, stlrams said:

Yeah it’s great for workers but what about the every day people?  I know you and politicians get wrap up in what’s good for workers but the please focus on theses words  - purchasing power.  Whatever your hourly wage is doesn’t not matter.......  if you earn more does not mean you have more money in your pocket..  using your argument let the minimum wane be $100 per hour

Workers aren't every day people?

My argument is not its just all about them no...not does it come close to stating lets make it 100 an hour.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, FairWarning said:

Only if it stays ahead of the price of goods.  

Sure...but we are seeing the price of goods rise prior to wages.  So shouldn’t we also then want to see wages rise of goods already are?

Take wood as an example...is the price of wood rising correlated to a rise in wages?

Edited by sho nuff
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Posted (edited)

It's inevitable with part of the contingent here in the PSF, so I'll just flat out say it now.  Just because a price on something rises, doesn't mean it's because of inflation (gas will be at the top of this list I am confident).  That will be a constant and incorrect narrative moving forward for the next few months.  I made comment in the other thread that if the printing of money we did in 2020 (I'm not sure people are even aware of went on there) didn't trigger it and the massive borrowing we did in the "booming" economy in 2018 didn't trigger it, very little will.

The other thing  I am confident of, is that those goods/services that were rising prior to pandemic will be thrown on the list of things that are NOW rising because of inflation, which will likely also be incorrect.  It's much more likely that the new found love of tariffs will be the main driver of those increases as we finally begin to see that China is NOT filling our coffers.  It's being passed on to us.

 

Edited by The Commish
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17 minutes ago, sho nuff said:

Workers aren't every day people?

My argument is not its just all about them no...not does it come close to stating lets make it 100 an hour.

What is your argument?

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20 minutes ago, sho nuff said:

Workers aren't every day people?

My argument is not its just all about them no...not does it come close to stating lets make it 100 an hour.

I say let’s make it 100 an hour

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Just now, Cowboysfan8 said:

I say let’s make it 100 an hour

I say $200 per hour and everyone gets an annual stimulus of $100,000.  That will solve the poverty problem forever, right?

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7 hours ago, stlrams said:

I gave that as a real example of the impact a $15 minimum wage but there are countless examples outside of preschools.  You have absolutely no understanding of real life problems that exist when politicians play with the economics for the sake of policies.  Why not $100 minimum wage?.

How do you know that I have no idea what real life problems exist related to this issue?  That’s a weird statement to make.

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23 minutes ago, Alex P Keaton said:

How do you know that I have no idea what real life problems exist related to this issue?  That’s a weird statement to make.

How do you know that I have no idea there are other businesses other the preschools?  That’s a weird statement to make, no?

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4 minutes ago, stlrams said:

How do you know that I have no idea there are other businesses other the preschools?  That’s a weird statement to make, no?

Not really.  You made an assertion, and I asked a clarifying question.   Then you made another assertion, but this time about me, even though you know nothing about me.

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2 minutes ago, Alex P Keaton said:

Not really.  You made an assertion, and I asked a clarifying question.   Then you made another assertion, but this time about me, even though you know nothing about me.

Your clarifying question was demeaning and sarcastic.  If you want a meaningful conversation I suggest taking a different approach next time. 

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, stlrams said:

Your clarifying question was demeaning and sarcastic.  If you want a meaningful conversation I suggest taking a different approach next time. 

Ok

Edited because I don't want to derail what should be an interesting thread.

Edited by Alex P Keaton
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1 minute ago, Alex P Keaton said:

That’s great advice.  Try following it.

Right back at ya..😓

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12 hours ago, Sand said:

Commodity	Price 5/6/2021	Price 1/1/2020	% Increase
Beef	       20.39	       14.21	       43%
Poultry	       7.14	            5.35	       34%
Lean Hog	   111.4	        68.55	       63%
Canola	       1003	            545	           84%
Wheat	       765	            554	           38%
Coffee	       149	            103	           45%
Sugar	       17.58	        13.31	       32%
Corn	       760	            392	           32%
Wool	       1319	            1558	      -15%
Lumber	       1645	            407	          304%
Milk	       23.57	        16.93	       39%
Gasoline	   2.1171	        1.7155	       23%
Heating Oil	   1.989	        2.02	     -1.5%
Crude	       64.93	        63.54	      2.2%

Unless Barron's is aiming for a big wool purchase they're full of ####.  The above chart is an aggregate of, what, a 40% increase since before the pandemic started?

Also, used cars - complete explosion.  House prices - off the charts.

The question is whether or not A) this is widespread in all/most categories, B) this is a sign of pervasive future inflation or just a short-term blip as the economy recovers.  Since we all haven't gone through a global pandemic that massively distorts the economy recently, it's difficult to differentiate between the two.

That said, it sure seems like we are seeing huge spikes in the price of a wide range of goods and inputs......the price of lumber, for example, is insane right now.  Some of that is due to short-term issues like northern mills being temporarily offline, or Canada shutting down exports to the US.   It will stabilize eventually......supposedly.

Would be interested to hear the story behind beef/poultry/etc or coffee/sugar/corn.   

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31 minutes ago, Alex P Keaton said:

Would be interested to hear the story behind beef/poultry/etc or coffee/sugar/corn.   

So far, it seems similar to that of lumber.  People have been at home for an entire year which means they are buying and consuming a significant amount more than they normally would and we all know individuals don't have the buying power that restaurants do.  When you have that sort of increase in demand and the supply chains aren't accustomed to having to spread out their supply, it makes sense that costs go up.  On top of that, throw in labor shortages in agriculture and crops rotting in the fields as a result, and you can see why a good many of our grocery items are increasing in price.  This was beginning to happen before 2020.

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3 minutes ago, The Commish said:

So far, it seems similar to that of lumber.  People have been at home for an entire year which means they are buying and consuming a significant amount more than they normally would and we all know individuals don't have the buying power that restaurants do.  When you have that sort of increase in demand and the supply chains aren't accustomed to having to spread out their supply, it makes sense that costs go up.  On top of that, throw in labor shortages in agriculture and crops rotting in the fields as a result, and you can see why a good many of our grocery items are increasing in price.  This was beginning to happen before 2020.

I believe part of the problem is there was a global slow down in the supply chain due to the pandemic resulting in less supplies.  Now we have demand increasing putting pressure on prices. 

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10 minutes ago, The Commish said:

So far, it seems similar to that of lumber.  People have been at home for an entire year which means they are buying and consuming a significant amount more than they normally would and we all know individuals don't have the buying power that restaurants do.  When you have that sort of increase in demand and the supply chains aren't accustomed to having to spread out their supply, it makes sense that costs go up.  On top of that, throw in labor shortages in agriculture and crops rotting in the fields as a result, and you can see why a good many of our grocery items are increasing in price.  This was beginning to happen before 2020.

No. 

3 minutes ago, stlrams said:

I believe part of the problem is there was a global slow down in the supply chain due to the pandemic resulting in less supplies.  Now we have demand increasing putting pressure on prices. 

Almost. That and in addition the lumber companies were very cautious because they didnt want to get overextended like they did in 2008. They scaled down dramatically which is causing a shortage now. 

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did anyone think that raising minimum wages so fast and raising taxes on the rich wouldn't result in higher goods and services ?

I mean really ... and the lower income people will be even poorer for it and wonder how in the world its happening 

its baffling to me :( 

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