WSJ US BusinessConsumers Feel the Pinch as Prices Rise

May 9, 20210
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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. freezers and dishwashers and Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. 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. 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.

“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.

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