This year has been an expensive one. We’re barely halfway through the calendar, but inflation is kicking most of us in the ass. The consumer index price rose 9.1% in June 2022 when compared to a year prior, and the impacts are pretty much unavoidable at this point.
In some cases, companies need to raise costs to stay afloat, but that’s not always the case. Many companies see inflation as an opportunity to increase prices and profits, and as sticker shock becomes a daily occurrence, we need to wonder if companies are just trying to squeeze more money out of its customers.
Despite these costs, demand remains in most sectors. So companies know they can push prices up because the customers aren’t leaving. Or, they’ll use some deceptive tactics to shrink their production costs while lowering the value to the customer. Regardless, inflation is just one piece of the puzzle. The other piece: corporate greed.
So, What’s Up With Prices?
The past two years have been a wild ride. Some people lost jobs and money, but Americans also got stimulus checks, because we need to feed our economy. Savings accounts had seriously low interest rates to discourage saving and encourage people to spend.
Well, it worked, and a lot of Americans demanded products. This is part of the reason we’re not in a recession. The economy isn’t slowing, and the demand for goods and services has kept unemployment low, so the price of goods and services can rise faster than the cost of producing them.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Economics Analysis, corporate profits in the country rose at a staggering rate in 2021, amounting to $3.196 trillion in the first quarter of 2022, so it shouldn’t be too surprising that nearly two-thirds of publicly traded companies are reporting greater profit margins than they did prior to the pandemic.
So why do prices keep going up? Because people will keep buying. Almost all industries have felt the impacts of inflation, but for every item a consumer omits from their life, they need to…