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US firms eye more consumer pushback as inflation toll mounts

Published : Monday, 16 May, 2022 at 12:00 AM  Count : 102

NEW YORK, May 15: Prices on household goods have been rising for months in the United States, souring the national mood but not significantly affecting sales -- yet.
Producers of everything from paper towels to soda to mattresses have described consumer behavior as relatively resilient despite broad-based price increases.
But just how much further companies can hike prices without facing pushback remains an open question.
Chris Scharff, who works in computer security and lives in New York's Hudson Valley, is watching the higher prices for gasoline and household items.
"It hasn't changed my behavior but I've been more mindful," said Scharff who predicts "people will start to cut back, or they'll go for non-premium" options if prices continue to rise. Eric Schwartz, who works in publishing, says he will cut back at the margins, drive less frequently, or "eat a little more pasta."
With inflation at a 40-year peak and little sign of immediate relief, the consumer-driven US economy faces question marks, despite very low unemployment and accelerating wage gains.
Americans have seen a growing wave of price hikes since last year, amid global supply chain snarls and labor shortages, but the increases picked up speed after Russia invaded Ukraine and sanctions on Moscow sent energy costs soaring.    -AFP

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