On this, the first business day of 2023, we're reminded that our economy continues to be in serious trouble. Inflation is still hitting hard, despite what the liberal pundits would have us believe, and it shows no sign of improvement (apart from wishful thinking, that is).
User Trucker Fren on Gab reported yesterday:
Almost $200 for a handful of groceries. I got barely anything. This has to be 50% higher than this time last year, it has to be
Agreeing with him, user Chadley Dudebro noted:
One of my colleagues found a grocery receipt from March 2019 in a kitchen drawer. He told his wife to buy exactly that list in December 2022. She had to sub a few items due to availability. But the moral of the story is, $93 worth of groceries in 2019 costs $209 in 2022.
If you have old grocery bills like that, it might be interesting to repeat the exercise yourself, and see how the numbers compare.
It's not just inflation - it's ongoing supply chain problems, too. Many parts of the country are suffering shortages of many products. Phil at Bustednuckles lives in the Vancouver, WA area. He posted these images from his local Walmart (click 'em to biggem):
We managed to get the last gallon of milk in the case.
That egg case is directly across the aisle from the milk case. Normally you would have to thread the needle between a floor full of goods and displays to get between them. Yesterday there was nothing but empty floor from one end of those two sections to the other.
The very fist thing we saw when we came in the door was a massive section of empty floor space that was probably 40 feet by fifty feet wide.
I will be 63 years old at the end of next month and never in all those years have I ever seen anything like this.
There's more at the link, as well as many comments from his readers about what they're seeing and experiencing in their own parts of the country. Recommended reading.
Fortunately, here in North Texas we don't have many supply chain problems right now, but that can change quickly if problems arise. I recall, back in 2021, the nearby city of Wichita Falls ran very low on all sorts of consumer needs. Desperate shoppers from there promptly invaded nearby towns and tried to buy everything they had, only to be met with stiff resistance from locals who didn't want their shelves left bare. The manager of our branch of Lowe's Market became something of a hero when he ordered that anyone whom he or the staff did not recognize had to produce their driver's license. If it showed their home address to be outside our town, he refused to sell them anything, saying that his was a small store and had to satisfy local customers first. We entirely approved, needless to say - although many visitors didn't! My wife and I have patronized that store more often ever since then, as a "Thank You" for his loyalty to his regular customers.
How are you finding prices and availability of the things you need, readers? Please let us know in Comments.
EDITED TO ADD: Armstrong Economics calculates that the actual rate of real inflation in 2022 was a mind-boggling 32%. That squares pretty well with my own calculation, which takes the official inflation rate and multiplies it by 3.5 to arrive at the real rate and get around bureaucratic obfuscation. (I should add that when I wrote that article in May 2021, I figured the real inflation rate to be around 14.7%. I'm not surprised to learn that it's more than doubled since then. I expect it to keep going up for the foreseeable future, because our politicians and central bankers flatly refuse to learn from their mistakes. If that happens, I may have to revise upward my 3.5x multiplier . . .)