Posted originally on the CTH on January 17, 2023 | sundance
There has always been a general shaping and interpretation surrounding economic news, specifically as it relates to the impact of pricing on consumers and corporations. However, against the backdrop of supply side inflation, the financial gaslighting from the Wall Street Journal stands out at the top.
Without pretending, and looking directly at the Main Street reality, CTH has outlined inflation as a matter of monetary and energy policy. From that standpoint the timing and scale of price increases (inflation measured over time) was predictable. Our current status is an inflationary plateau, where prices remain high but stabilize for likely two quarters.
What the Wall Street Journal outlines as a “shopper rebellion against high prices” is complete hogwash. Notice in the construct of the narrative, the demand side (consumers) is identified as the cause of diminished revenue & profits for corporations. They continue pretending that inflation was not driven by energy costs.
(WSJ) – […] Many companies raised their prices substantially last year to offset higher fuel costs and higher prices for ingredients, parts and labor. As fuel prices have dropped and pandemic supply-chain snarls have eased, some of those costs have come down.
That is a good sign for the economy. It suggests that some inflation in the past year resulted from extreme supply-demand imbalances brought on by the pandemic and the war in Ukraine and which are now fading.
Notice the transparent lack of mentioning ‘energy policy’ as the inflation driver.
[…] The study, by economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, found that higher markups—the gap between what a firm charges and what it costs to produce an item—were a major driver of inflation in 2021.
They concluded that companies in some cases were raising prices in 2021 in anticipation of future cost pressures, rather than because of market power or outsize demand. Andrew Glover, a senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City who was involved in the study, doesn’t expect prices to fall this year, he said, but he anticipates that the pace of increase will continue to slow.
Inflation is the rate of increase over time. We have experienced two years of massive price increases. Yes, the rate of those increases will moderate, this is the plateau, but the price will never drop. The current prices are a direct result of fixed energy policy.
[…] Unit sales of food and beverages fell 3% last year, but on a dollar basis they rose 10%. That showed consumers were willing to pay higher prices for groceries but bought fewer items.
[…] “People need to eat,” said Krishnakumar Davey, a president at IRI. Shoppers are nonetheless buying less when possible and, in many cases, buying less expensive versions of necessities such as toilet paper and laundry detergent. (read more)
Meanwhile the Fed is worried that wages will be forced to increase. Here is the real worry for the Wall Street Journal, “If consumers believe high prices will persist, they could seek bigger raises, and businesses, seeing higher labor costs, could continue raising prices.” Yes, workers, forward inflation is your fault.
Government policy drives up prices, but workers needing wage increases to pay for those higher prices… well, that is not acceptable to the government, comrade proles.