Hidden inflation is the worst kind of inflation
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the producer price index has gone up 9.7% from what it was a year ago. The producer price index measures wholesale prices. For the consumer, prices have increased more than the wholesale price. Sometimes, a lot more.
I was at Walmart and purchased two large bags of Great Value whole natural almonds. I took the above pic because I noticed Walmart hadn’t raised the price of its almonds like it had for just about everything else I routinely buy. I wanted to compare the price in the photo to what it showed on the receipt.
When I got home and looked at the receipt, I discovered Walmart secretly increased the price of their large bags of Great Value whole natural almonds to $11.98, a price increase of 35.50%.
With the constant talk of inflation, retailers like Walmart use it as an excuse to increase prices. They don’t slightly raise prices to keep up with the actual amount of inflation, real or imagined. Thanks to the almost constant talk of inflation in the news and on social media, the consumer is more than primed to accept price increases. Retailers like Walmart take advantage of this to drastically increase their prices, using inflation as cover.
Worse, they take advantage of technology to do it secretly.
Gone are the days when everything had a price sticker on it. Back in olden times, the 1970s, when a retailer wanted to increase the price of a product, they had to manually put a new price sticker on a product. Instead of removing the lower price sticker, they would simply put the new sticker on it. This posed a problem. Consumers would see an item had two price stickers, one over the other, and know the price was higher than it was before.
Some people would even pry the top sticker off and pay the old price.
In current times, when a retailer wants to increase prices, all they have to do is make a few keyboard stokes in on a computer. Maybe they’ll update the price on the shelf, maybe they won’t.
If the consumer notices the price increase, they’ll just chalk it up to inflation. Never mind that the price increase far exceeds the actual amount of inflation.
Retailers will normally charge as much as the market will bear. They will charge as much as the consumer will pay. Thanks to barcodes and incorrect prices posted on the shelf, the consumer will often not even know what they are paying for an item.
It’s because of these things that inflation in the year 2022 will be far worse on the consumer than it was in the 1970s or the 1980s. Buckle up, things are about to get rough.