Inflation Watch:

News from England: Interest rates ‘may reach 8% by 2012’ adding £900 to the average mortgage as economists warn of need to curb ‘runaway inflation’. (Our thanks to Jean S. for the link.)

Doug D. wrote to report: “I found a Costco receipt from three months ago, so decided to compare prices on similar items. What I found was shocking:

  • + 5.7% – Bounty Paper Towel. Reduced from 968 sq ft to 915.
  • + 8.2% – Charmin Toilet Paper. Reduced from 937 sq ft to 866.
  • + 6.6% – Frozen Blueberries
  • + 6.9% – Batteries, AA
  • – 2.5% – Batteries, AAA (deflation). Surprising.
  • Chromed steel utility shelves – price unchanged, but better quality (more metal) on the center support of each shelf. Surprising.

The Bounty and Charmin paper products both effectively had price inflation by reducing the total square feet (smaller sizes). The other brands just adjusted their prices. I feel particularly cheated by the Bounty and Charmin changes, since the packaging changes were deceptive. In the case of the Bounty, they even changed the packaging to imply a larger number of ‘equivalent rolls’, yet buried in the fine print, the rolls had less square feet in total. The others I feel less cheated by, since it is the same product and they just raised the price, so they were not using deceptive packaging to hide the inflation. This is not good, since this is 6~8% inflation in only three months…”

Economists Warn Of Runaway Inflation

Odds ‘n Sods: