Prices Still High and Products Still Scarce

A dozen eggs costs 29% more now than it did one year ago. The price of beef is up 18%. And while the price of gas dropped slightly last week — the first decline in 14 weeks — it is still up more than 50% from this time in 2020.

Rising prices are having a very real impact on consumers as the holiday shopping season continues. According to the Wall Street Journal, “inflation is expected to hit an almost four-decade high in November, driven by growing energy costs, more expensive vehicles, rising rents and other broad-based price gains.”

A new Gallup poll finds that nearly half of Americans, including seven out of 10 lower-income Americans, say inflation is causing them hardship on a personal level. Gallup says rising prices “are expected to persist, meaning more Americans are likely to report hardship and those most vulnerable are likely to see things get worse before they improve.”

The supply chain crisis is making things worse. The Consumer Brand Association says half of Americans have reported not being able to find a desired item at a local store. Among the hard-to-find items: baked goods, snacks, and refrigerated meals.

Bipartisan solutions like the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 2021 and the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act would offer some relief. But until the White House and Congress look beyond partisan squabbling and prioritize inflation, consumers will continue to suffer.

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