A White House website didn’t solve it. Airlift flights from Europe didn’t fix it. Nine months after the New York Times first reported the shortages and three months after Joe Biden acknowledged he finally learned of it, retail inventory of baby formula dropped to its lowest level in July, the Wall Street Journal reports this morning:
Availability of powdered formula products in U.S. stores earlier this month dropped to the lowest level so far this year, with about 30% of products out of stock for the week ended July 3, according to the market-research firm IRI. While availability improved slightly last week, out-of-stock levels remain higher than in recent months, and shortages remain acute in states including Alaska, Utah and Wyoming, IRI data showed.
At the same time, consumers are finding fewer choices of brands, sizes or formats of formula on grocery-store shelves as the variety of available products shrinks. U.S. supermarkets over the four weeks ended June 26 sold an average of 11 different formula products per store weekly, according to IRI, compared with a weekly average of 24 from 2018 to 2021.
Keith Milligan, controller of Piggly Wiggly stores in Georgia and Alabama, said his stores are carrying five of the 30 formula products they typically sell, compared with about 10 in late spring. Store shelves aren’t empty, but have many gaps, Mr. Milligan said, and customers are purchasing what is available.
“It has not improved at all,” Mr. Milligan said of Piggly Wiggly’s formula supply.
Fasten your seatbelts, because inflation’s still going to be a bumpy ride for the next few months. Despite repeated insistence from the White House that we’ve seen the worst of inflation, the producer-price index rose at its fastest level in three months in June. Final-demand year-on-year PPI inflation hit near a new record at 11.6% as well:
The Producer Price Index for final demand increased 1.1 percent in June, seasonally adjusted, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. This rise followed advances of 0.9 percent in May and 0.4 percent in April. (See table A.) On an unadjusted basis, final demand prices moved up 11.3 percent for the 12 months ended in June, the largest increase since a record 11.6-percent jump in March 2022.
In June, three-fourths of the advance in the index for final demand was due to a 2.4-percent rise in prices for final demand goods. The index for final demand services increased 0.4 percent.
Prices for final demand less foods, energy, and trade services moved up 0.3 percent in June after advancing 0.4 percent in both May and April. For the 12 months ended in June, the index for final demand less foods, energy, and trade services rose 6.4 percent.
A majority of Americans believe President Joe Biden has sunk the U.S. into a recession as everyday items such as food, gas and prescriptions have increasingly gone up in prices.
According to a Politico/Morning Consult poll, 65 percent of voters agree that the country is well on its way (if not already there) to rock bottom in terms of the economy, with only 20 percent saying it is not.
Within the past two years, the number has skyrocketed since the same survey was taken in 2020.
Per the new poll, 78 percent of Republicans believe the nation is in a recession, while only 37 percent thought the U.S. was heading towards economic breakdown in March of 2020.
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