Falling Prices of Goods Push Down Retail Sales (as Inflation Shifted Massively to Services)

Not seasonally adjusted, and despite the price drops, total retail sales and ecommerce sales hit records.

By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET.

The headlines are saying stuff like, “Retail sales slide by the most in a year,” but what they don’t say is that prices of goods — which is what retailers sell — dropped in December, as inflation has massively shifted into services, which are not included in retail sales. In the biggest retail categories, such as motor vehicles and gasoline, and even in some smaller categories, such as cannabis, prices have dropped hard.

In December, retail sales fell 1.1% from November, while prices of nondurable goods (dominated by food and gasoline) dropped 1.2%; and prices of durable goods (new and used vehicles, appliances, furniture, electronics, etc.) dropped 0.8%, the fourth month in a row of declines. It’s these price declines in goods that are largely responsible for pushing down retail sales.

On the other hand, consumer spending that enters into “real” GDP is adjusted for price changes and will show that consumers are plodding along, spending a little less on goods maybe, but more on services.

When retailers raise prices, their revenues rise, and they don’t even have to sell more stuff; and we saw that during the surge of goods inflation in early 2022. That’s why companies love inflation.

And when retailers cut those elevated prices because they’re losing sales to competitors – as consumers suddenly refuse to pay whatever but nitpick prices and change brands and products – then revenues fall, which is happening now.

The CPI for nondurable goods – dominated by food and gasoline – dropped 1.2% in December and is down 3% from the peak in June, as gasoline prices plunged 3.6% for the month, and as food-price increases moderated to just 0.2%, the slowest month-to-month increase since March 2021.

Cannabis prices are plunging (-13% in Q3 year-over-year, according to BDSA, which covers the New York cannabis market), on booming supply from states where recreational cannabis is now legal, overwhelming even strong demand. Cannabis prices are not tracked by the CPI yet. But today’s retail sales include sales at Cannabis stores in the “Miscellaneous store” category, and we’ll get to that in a moment.

The CPI for durable goods – new and used vehicles, appliances, furniture, electronics, etc. – dropped 0.8% in December from October and is down 2.5% on dropping prices of electronics and used vehicles [see: Hangover Time for Used-Vehicle Dealers. For Buyers, Patience Will Pay Off]:

Price Declines pushed down retail sales.

Seasonally adjusted, total retail sales fell by 1.1% in December from November, the second month in a row of declines, to $677 billion,  which was still up by 6.7% year-over-year. Compared to pre-pandemic December 2019, retail sales were up 29% (red).

But not seasonally adjusted, retail sales jumped to a record $749 billion in December (purple).

New and Used Vehicle and Parts Dealers, accounting for nearly 20% of total retail: Sales fell 1.2% in December from November, to $124 billion, seasonally adjusted, and was down 1% from a year ago, on sharply dropping used vehicle prices, and dipping new vehicle prices, that caused the CPI for new and used vehicles to drop 1% for the month, and by 3.3% from the peak in September:

This is the CPI for new and used vehicles:

And the retail sales at new and used vehicle dealers:

Ecommerce and other “nonstore retailers”: Sales fell 1.1% seasonally adjusted in December from the record in November, to $109 billion, but were up by 14% year-over-year, and up by 66% from three years ago (red line).

Not seasonally adjusted (purple), sales spiked by 9% for the month to a new record of $135 billion, as the shift in sales from brick-and-mortar stores to ecommerce continued relentlessly.

Included in these sales are the ecommerce operations of brick-and-mortar retailers, including the ecommerce sales of used vehicle dealers, and sales by stalls and markets:

Food services and drinking places:

  • Sales: $88 billion, seasonally adjusted
  • Month over month: -0.9%
  • Year-over-year: +13.9%
  • From Dec. 2019: +31.9%
  • CPI for “food away from home”: +0.4% for the month, +8.3% year over year:

Food and Beverage Stores:

  • Sales: $81 billion, seasonally adjusted
  • Month over month: 0%
  • Year-over-year: +6.7%
  • From Dec. 2019: +26%
  • CPI for “food at home”: +0.2% for the month, +11.8% year over year:

Gas stations:

  • Sales: $60 billion, seasonally adjusted
  • Month over month: -4.6%
  • Year-over-year: +6.6%
  • From Dec. 2019: +34%
  • CPI for “gasoline”: +0.2% for the month; 11.8% year over year:

This is the CPI for gasoline, down 34% from June:

These are the retail sales at gas stations, which are often more like convenience stores, and include all the other stuff gas stations sell:

General merchandise stores, without department stores:

  • Sales: $59 billion, seasonally adjusted
  • Month over month: +0.2%
  • Year-over-year: +3.9%
  • From Dec. 2019: +19.1%

Building materials, garden supply and equipment stores:

  • Sales: $42 billion, seasonally adjusted
  • Month over month: +0.3%
  • Year-over-year: +2.6%
  • From Dec. 2019: +33%

Clothing and accessory stores:

  • Sales: $26 billion, seasonally adjusted
  • Month over month: -0.3%
  • Year-over-year: +3.9%
  • From Dec. 2019: +15%

Miscellaneous store retailers (includes cannabis stores): 

  • Sales: $14.8 billion, seasonally adjusted
  • Month over month: -1.1% — see note above about the plunging prices of cannabis.
  • Year-over-year: +3.5%
  • From Dec. 2019: +33%

Furniture and home furnishing stores:

  • Sales: $11.5 billion, seasonally adjusted
  • Month over month: -2.5%
  • Year-over-year: +2.5%
  • From Dec. 2019: +15%

Department stores on their way to extinction:

  • Sales: $10.2 billion, seasonally adjusted
  • Month over month: -6.6%
  • Year-over-year: -0.7%
  • From Dec. 2019: -7%

Since the peak in 2000, sales have collapsed by 42%. Americans are buying this stuff more and more online, including at the ecommerce sites of the few surviving department store chains.

Back in the early 1990s, department stores sales accounted for around 10% of total retail sales. In December 2022, their share was down to just 1.7%:

Sporting goods, hobby, book and music stores: S

  • Sales: $9.3 billion, seasonally adjusted
  • Month over month: +0.1%
  • Year-over-year: +4.1%
  • From Dec. 2019: +39%

Electronics and appliance stores:

Included here are only specialty electronics and appliance stores, such as Best Buy’s brick-and-mortar stores or Apple’s brick-and-mortar stores. It does not include the electronics and appliance sales online and at other retailers, such as Walmart.

  • Sales: $7.0 billion, seasonally adjusted
  • Month over month: -1.1%
  • Year over year: -2.7%
  • From Dec. 2019: -7.1%
  • CPI consumer electronics: -0.9% for the month; -11.8% year over year.
  • CPI appliances: +0.2% for the month, +1.1% year over year



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  83 comments for “Falling Prices of Goods Push Down Retail Sales (as Inflation Shifted Massively to Services)

  1. MiTurn says:

    Department store sales…going, going…almost gone. Dinosaurs, obviously in this Holocene age of online shopping.

    By the way, a 4×8 5/8″ sheet of OSB at Home Depot is currently about $10. Half what it was this summer, when I needed to buy four sheets at $19.90 a piece.

    • Yort says:

      Food services and drinking places: From Dec. 2019: +31.9%

      WOW, I think it is great you list price increase pre-pandemic as the media is focusing purely on the “rate of change” of monthly/yearly inflation and not the “accumulate” multi-year effects.

      Even if inflation “rate” drops to zero for a year, we already accumulated 10-15 years worth of 2% per year inflation that is not going away, as deflation was basically outlawed when the gold standard was eliminated back in the 1971.

      Again, great idea to post pre-pandemic inflation accumulation as that seems to be avoided by the MSM for some odd reason…

      • Yort says:

        On a side topic, the “Debt Ceiling Armageddon” stories are hitting the MSM hard at the moment. Any chance you could write an article discussing this silly human created complexity and the actual realistic and not “Defcon 1” hyped possible ramifications???

        • sunny129 says:


          Just wait for the ‘kabuki’ circus either in May and or in September performed in a splendid way, before the debt ceiling is raised again. Don’t forget that Congress (both parties) have raised the debt ceiling more than 44 times in the past!

          Imagine who will run for an election without continuous ‘deficit’ spending, without which they cannot promise the ‘goodies’ for the vested parties, who have them in their pockets. Reform has to come from outside and not within.

        • gametv says:

          The generally liberal news media first attacked the Republicans for actually having some disagreements before they elected a speaker, which was the most healthy sign of governance in a long time. Debate and intense negotiations, even within a part, should be cheered.

          Now the liberal news media wants to attack the Republicans for attempting to gain some control over spending. The debt ceiling issue has always been a way for politicians with a modicum of fiscal responsibility to try to reign in spending, and it generally fails. But to attack the use of the debt ceiling as absurd is itself absurd. This is a debate on fiscal responsibility that NEEDS to happen, even if the manner in which it happens causes massive chaos and could lead to economic trouble.

          We need the boat to be rocked a little.

        • info says:

          So QT and Interest rate hikes isn’t fast enough to counter government inflationary spending?

      • rojogrande says:

        I believe the 31.9% is the increase in sales measured in dollars at food services and drinking places since December 2019, not the increase in price since 2019. I think a lot of inflation is embedded in the increased sales as measured in dollars, but some of it may also reflect increasing sales volume too.

        On the other hand, I guess sales volume could be down and inflation accounts for all of the increased sales as measured in dollars. I don’t really know.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          “I believe the 31.9% is the increase in sales measured in dollars at food services and drinking places since December 2019..”

          Yes, correct.

          The CPI for “Food away from home” increased by 24% over the same period.

        • rojogrande says:

          Great, thanks. Now I know.

    • QQQBall says:

      Yes, 2″x4″ have also come back to earth. I had buy sheets of plywood during the price spike and that was not fun. We got bids to replace a roof on a rental unit and the roofers were charging crazy prices for any wood that needed to be replaced during the spike. We repaired the roof and I’m interested to see how much prices come down during a recession when we will replace the whole roof. BTW, I had some bids for other work last year that ranged to $12,300 with most near $7,000. The worker is finishing up the work for $3,500 this week. BTW, the high bids were from guys with big, raised pickups and off-road tires. The payments on those rigs wont be any fun during a recession.

      • Harvey Mushman says:

        “BTW, the high bids were from guys with big, raised pickups and off-road tires. The payments on those rigs wont be any fun during a recession.”

        Many times those big, lifted, pickup trucks with off road tires are towing large toy hauler trailers on the weekend. Inside the toy haulers are ATVs, side X sides, etc. We’re talking BIG payments!

      • kam says:

        There is still a HUGE amount of high cost inventory in retail, distribution and manufacturing. This will need to be washed through or sold at a loss, for cash flow.
        Maybe I missed it Wolf, but what are sales, adjusted for inflation ?

  2. Michael Engel says:

    The Fed sucked $2.55T in Dec 30 to fight inflation.
    The Fed might raise interest, but cut interest they pay on RRP to 4%, from 4.3% today.

  3. Dr Duration says:

    I think CPI seasonality choppiness, will continue to add noise and overall uncertainty about how to pin down where the economy is, in terms of a recession or uptrend.

    That uncertainty keeps lots of cash on the sidelines as people read tea leaves discerning and pondering.

    I think the longer this uncertainty rolls along, the more it will look like stagflation, then ultimately, more like recession.

    Right now, a recession is being telegraphed with slower growth, higher unemployment, weaker revenue, but nobody cares. I think that’s the key here, this period to pin down a recession will be deathly slow and most likely won’t result in a classic crash, with capitulation. It’ll be more like uncertainty all through 2023, with markets and the economy limping along, grinding slowly down.

    The seasonal adjustments will be part of a slow motion circus that doesn’t easily connect to Fed rate hikes, demand destruction and budget deficit chaos.

    I’m long pop corn

  4. The Real Tony says:

    There should be a footnote on oil and gasoline because of the fuel tax cut and the use of the oil reserves. It’s never factored in or compensated for in the figures. All we know is inflation is once again rising since the start of this year.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Yes, the drop in gasoline prices appears to be history already. Looking forward to photos of my gas station from heck with regular unleaded at $6.39 or whatever 🤣

      • Swamp Creature says:


        You need to get rid of the phrase “Gas station from heck”. That sounds too lame.

        Call it what it is: “The gas station from hell”

        • Sams says:

          Google Street View do not provide day to day pictures. Still as far as I could see, prices at the petrol station at Hell, XY Hell is in line with ohters in the area.

          Search for XY Hell, Selbuvegen 14 and you find it on the map.😉

  5. Concerned Citizen says:

    The United States’ Dollar has been at the forefront of world trade for decades however, the continual reduction of the dollar’s purchasing power hurts Americans – duh, no surprise here that much (not all) stuff costs more each year. The US also exported inflation to others who used the dollar to settle international trade. For years its been reported the dollar will end but less valuable dollars continue to be in demand. Although, today Bloomberg reports Saudi Arabia Says Open to Settling Trade in Other Currencies.

    Given the aforementioned and unabated services inflation is something in the air to say enough is enough, the dollar must stabilize and inflation of all types must be slowed?

  6. Logan Kane says:

    Well at least cannabis is cheaper!

    • Wolf Richter says:

      I would like to have some boots-on-the-ground reporting from regular consumers of the stuff. So if readers with some real experience can chime in here about cannabis prices, that would be interesting.

      • Harvey Mushman says:

        Why would anybody pay for cannabis when you can grow it in your own yard or house. I don’t think it would be much more labor intensive then taking care of a tomato plant. Maybe the stink would bother your neighbors.

        • American Dream says:

          $30 an ounce in Portland Oregon for good enough to get my high quality.

        • blahblahbloo says:

          And yet people also seem to buy most of their tomatoes from the grocery store instead of growing them as well.

      • Brent says:

        Nationwide wholesale pot price statistics (US-Canada) monthly reports & charts:


        Retail prices at the Online Walmart of Pot (if you are under 18 don’t click !!!):

        Everything else is anecdotal evidence.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          The first link was useful. Thanks. The second link was just a promo page for cannabis products; I didn’t see any info on price changes. So I deleted the link.

        • Brent says:

          Yes, what a surprise – this pioneering online store is a pale shadow of its former self. I looked it up and archived the whole page 4 years ago when I finished reading “Narconomics: How to run a Drug Cartel” by Tom Wainwright. Back then it was full of deals, 30% offs, promo codes, specials etc.

      • Captive says:

        I don’t know about the American market, but where I am in Canada it got cheaper a couple months back.

      • Flashman says:

        These were my retail costs for what I could get that was reasonable to smoke. Today recreational “flower” is the least expensive cannabis products. Vap, pre-roll, and edibles are much more expensive. Quality and THC content is higher today than alternative market product from the past.

        Price is $ per gram. In the 1970’s $1.75 (likely (5 percent THC), mostly “brown Colombian”, 80’s $10, potency improving steadily as domestic growers start up, many in California , 1990’s to 2014 $7-$8, 2015 $15 (22 percent THC), 2023 $2- (22 percent THC) – $6 (30 percent THC).

        Some retail shops are closing as the market is over supplied. I think some growers are closing and shifting to hemp production. No product I know of, on a quality adjusted basis, has deflated in price as much the last 50 years.

      • libdis says:

        Funny you report this cause my handyman has a medical cannibas card here in Florida. When he first got the card he continued to buy his pot on the street because it was cheaper.

        It is now considerably cheaper in the dispensary. I don’t know how this stuff is bought and sold but what would cost him $35 on the street is $25 in the official shop. I know this because I have driven him several times. He had a severe stroke years ago and does not drive.

        Plus, if we are tbh, it is much safer for people like him. Its clean and pure, no risk of being laced.

        It really is quite comical. The dispensary has a rewards card, BOGO’s, all kind of weekly sales. He is loving it.

      • Happy1 says:

        Don’t know retail prices, as I am not a user, but local press here in Denver is describing a severe downturn in both medical and recreational cannabis with 50% declines in associated tax revenues over the last few years. Not sure if users are turning to unregulated market or if this is just the result of decreasing pot based tourism now that it is legal in many states.

        I have to say I am glad, the industrial grow houses stink and I hate smelling the stuff everywhere.

      • kam says:

        In Canada, the legalization of Cannabis did not stop the underground industry and all the above ground industry has lost millions.
        The native bands sell it dirt cheap.

      • Colinsky says:

        Yesterday I bought one ounce of pre-ground sativa flower (24% THC) for $60 at a dope shop in Santa Barbara. It was a Wednesday special, six bucks lower than regular price.

  7. Michael Engel says:

    1) The Fed fought inflation by sucking liquidity from the market.
    2) RRP liftoff started in Apr 2021. For one year, between June 2021 and Mar 2022 the Fed paid 0.05% on RRP. That was good enough for the primary banks. The current rate is : 4.3%. RRP is a valve that control liquidity in the market. The primary banks make : $2.2T x 0.043 = $95B/y on RRP. The banks are down this week.
    3) Tomorrow, Jan 19, US gov might shut things in stepping stones, first slowly than faster, for fun and entertainment. Options :
    4) Option #1 : the Dow might test the one year downtrend, before popping up, until they face the cliff.
    5) Option #2 : the other side might buckle, shedding tears, because AOSea is no longer a threat. The Dow ==> to a new all time high, for 4y – 7y, because the dbl McC, these useful idiots, can’t stop winning.
    6) Option #3 : straight down.

  8. gametv says:

    There was a really interesting article on Apple a few days ago (I forget which financial news site) that talked about the incredible supply chain they have built in China and the vibrant network of suppliers for every conceivable technology.

    Now think how that would have benefitted the US if the technology development and jobs had happened here.

    Pushing all production to China has been very disinflationary. But at what cost? Americans are so damn good at getting short term gains for long term losses.

    When will we wake up?

    • Concerned Citizen says:

      Fantastic point you bring up. If the US continues its trade war with China and begins to insource manufacturing you will see much higher costs – wages, benefits, environment … That path will be problematics and possibly for a long time you will have shortages of many items not yet producible in the US. If you punt on inflation and continue to use China and others as our cheap manufacturing source then eventually the US will even become deindustrialized.

      Leaders must be wise when walking this thin line.

      • Grant says:

        Prices for goods might be higher, but quality might (and should) also increase due to a number of factors. China has shown no compunctions about largely ignoring quality control and their IP theft is pretty legendary. A lot of American-made products I’ve seen starting up like the safety razor I own and use have stressed quality (nothing new with the Made-in-America sentiment) but also longevity of their products. I don’t think consumers will react well to products that are triple the cost (or more) that break as quickly as Chinese products. We’ve had a planned-obsolescence economy since even before we exported most manufacturing. We’re alright having to buy new microwaves every 5-10 years because they’re moderately cheap. I’m hoping that changes and we can have quality products back.

        Also, if we return manufacturing to the US, we’ll have to pay attention to that whacky economic concept called Say’s Law where the people making goods will need to be paid enough to actually afford them as opposed to the kids sewing $75 Nikes together and hoping to make enough for soup that night.

    • American Dream says:

      Apple and China benefited from there partnership but seems like there stuck together which may be something apple is staring to regret.

      Time will tell

      • Island Teal says:

        Apple was one of the original whores of the electronics industry in the ways that they conducted business on the buy side. At the time it was considered “cutting edge” 🤣🤣🤣

      • Flea says:

        Apple is moving some manufacturing to INDIA,they need a utilitarian phone for older folks,

    • Swamp Creature says:

      I just bought some CENTRUM multivitamins. I checked the label. “Made in China”

      • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

        Swamp – much of the commercial vitamin stock (like so many ‘mundane’ items that, in the past, provided a ‘mundane’ employment and living for ‘mundane’ ‘Muricans) has been sourced from the PRC for some years, now. (Grant really nailed it in his comment, above).

        may we all find a better day.

    • Gattopardo says:

      “Now think how that would have benefitted the US if the technology development and jobs had happened here.”

      Dunno that it would have. $3500 iPhone 5s might have killed the whole thing.

      • crazytown says:

        If that is the price that has to be paid in order for the people making the products to live a dignified life, then that’s what it should cost. We support slavery as long as it helps us save a few fake paper bucks/toilet paper printed by the trillions by the Fed.

        • Wellstone's Ghost says:

          Thank you for calling it what it is, slavery. Below subsistence wages and non existent environmental regulations is what took the jobs overseas. Until these motivations cease, for the betterment of the planet, it will be on to Africa to exploit the impoverished people of that continent. Capitalism doesn’t have to be immoral, unethical and inhumane, but sadly a majority of it is. S&P stands for slavery and punishment.

      • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

        Gatto – TANSTAAFL is always prompt, no matter how long it takes…

        may we all find a better day.

  9. bruce says:

    Im not understanding the seasonally adjusted part. So for e commerce sales
    – sales fell 1.1% from November (how is that seasonally adjusted?)
    – sales up 14% year over year (makes sense)
    – NOT seasonally adjusted sales spiked 9% for the month (where is this number coming from? what month is it being compared to?)

    Sales fell 1.1% seasonally adjusted in December from the record in November, to $109 billion, but were up by 14% year-over-year, and up by 66% from three years ago (red line).

    Not seasonally adjusted (purple), sales spiked by 9% for the month to a new record of $135 billion

    • Wolf Richter says:

      “– sales fell 1.1% from November (how is that seasonally adjusted?)”

      Let me just say here for general clarification:

      Retail sales are incredibly seasonal. December retail sales are ALWAYS huge due to the holiday sales. December is by far the biggest month of the year, which is what you see in the not seasonally adjusted data (purple lines). And this is predictable. So based on historical averages, seasonal adjustments subtract a large amount of sales from December, and also from November (another huge month), and in other months, they add sales to sort of smoothen out the line and allow for month-to-month comparisons.

      Given how huge sales are every December, the seasonal adjustments for December are HUGE, every year, to BRING DOWN December sales.

      But seasonal adjustments are sort of iffy in December because they’re so huge. That’s why in December, I like to give non-seasonally adjusted numbers as well to give people an indication what happened with actual dollars.

      But if you look at retail sales without seasonal adjustments, 1. you will get a huge headache and whiplash, and 2. you cannot compare them to the prior month, you can compare them only year over year.

      • crazytown says:

        To add to this – seasonal adjustments are a statistics and math formula, it’s not just some willy nilly adjustment that someone makes up.

  10. QQQBall says:

    I noticed that many fruits and veggies prices had dropped prior to the storms hitting our area. I think the growers may have harvested as much as possible, which drove prices downward. Overall prices have spiked higher. For example, what used to be 3 items for $6 such as carrots, a cabbage, cauliflower, beets, etc., went to 2 items for $5 and now many items are sold by the pound, which is more expensive. One guy had big cauliflower for $7 each. So a 5% price cut is still much higher. The tomatoes went from $2 or $2.50 a pound to $4.50. Of course, organic is more expensive. We are doing more shopping at the specialty markets and looking for sale items. Brussel sprouts were $5 a pound at farmers market and 2 pounds for $3 at the market. Baked “homemade” pizza with $3 dough baker (bread is $14 a loaf) from farmer’s market and used spaghetti sauce that I made and veggies I cooked rather than the $30 vegan pizza from takeout. My pizza was better and I will make my own dough just as I have started baking my own bread.

    • Swamp Creature says:

      No one can make a decent Pizza here. I make my own.

      • Grant says:

        That’s what a lot of us are left to here in the Midwest. I’ve seen what they call pizza. And when you find a place that can pull off a decent approximation of a NY pie, they want $16 for a 16-incher. Get pizza for the family 12 times and you’ve paid for one of those home pizza ovens they’re making that get hot enough to do a proper NY or even Neapolitan style pie. At that point, it’s just a matter of dough, marinara, low-moisture mozzarella, and whatever you want to put on it. Right now my wife and I have been using pre-heated cast-iron cookware in a conventional oven to scratch the itch until we’re ready to commit to a dedicated pizza oven.

    • Gattopardo says:

      QQQ — That you use the term “spaghetti sauce” in the same sentence as pizza saddens me. Have a look at serious eats dot com for their pizza section. Legit. Kenji is a master.

  11. MBP says:

    1Y UST trapped in a range between 4.50 and 4.85% for 14 weeks now. Which way will it break out? Join a team….. Above or Below?

    • American Dream says:


    • Cyrus says:

      Not looking good for team above.

    • Wisdom Seeker says:


    • Old school says:

      The way I interpret it is treasury market is voting a recession is imminent and stock market is voting that there is still time to play the bear market rallies.

      The five stocks I follow still are not pricing in a recession. I am out of all of them. If we don’t have a recession I missed the boat, but that is not the end of the world.

    • andy says:

      Ooh, good question!

      Is permanently high plateau an option?

  12. Nevnej says:

    Good point above on the cumulative price impact. YOY headline rate declining, but we are still at xx% above 2019 prices, and that still will filter through to higher costs. Fed balance sheet used to be metric for price increases too, and that even with QT is still cumulatively hugely increased.

    • Wisdom Seeker says:

      Yes, looks like an overall inflationary “step up” of around 20-25%. Hopefully that’s all…. Some of that may be unwound if the Fed stays the course, but odds are good that we’ll be stuck with most of it forever, just like 2008-2010.

  13. Swamp Creature says:

    The price of Deer Park water just went from $1.59/gallon to $2.29/gallon. There is some serious inflation in the non-food items at the local grocery stores.

    • drg1234 says:

      Only for people stupid enough to buy water at a grocery store. If your local water tastes that bad buy a filter for Pete’s sake.

      • andy says:

        But it’s got electrolytes.

      • Swamp Creature says:


        Well, count me in as one of the stupid people. The Deer Park water tastes much better than tap water. I’ll pay for that. I like to have a cup of coffee without the foul taste of tap water ruining the coffee. How can you filter out that crap that comes out of the tap with some kind of electronic device?

        • crazytown says:

          Just buy a pallet of Brita filters that only last for a few gallons if you have hard water and have 15x the plastic content in each compared to the very thin recyclable plastic in bottled water. lol

        • Larry says:

          It’s called reverse osmosis and cleans out solids and organic contaminants from tap water

    • andy says:

      My girlfriend buys bottled tap water. She thinks it’s from mountain creek or something.

      • Brent says:

        There is a spring at Poland Springs, ME.
        And there is a bottling plant near this spring.

        I can vouch for it. Because in 1989 I p/u 49,000 lbs of bottled water there and dragged it 3,000 miles to CA.

        I suspect that at the same time another guy p/u 49,000 lbs of Crystal Geyser Alpine Water in CA and dragged it 3,000 miles to the NE 😁

    • Between The Lines says:

      Try going on Amazon and checking out the home countertop variety of distillers available, there are many good choices.

  14. JoeGotz says:

    🥱 give it up already Wolf, disinflation followed by deflation coming to an area near you! The people with money (baby boomers) are deflationary! Once this $10T of printed monopoly dollars works its way through the system you’ll see prices across the board drop faster than they went up.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      I’ve waited my entire life for deflation. I’m so looking forward to it. Imagine that your money will be buying more, rather than less!!! But in my entire life, there were only a few quarters of deflation. The rest of the time it was inflation and raging inflation. And for my entire life, the deflationinsta did their song and dance, trying to instill false hopes that deflation would finally arrive.

      TBH, I stopped believing in this deflationista song and dance. I just accept now that we’ll have inflation and raging inflation for the rest of my life, and if I’m lucky, I’ll get a break of a quarter or two of deflation, that’s all I can hope for, LOL.

    • eg says:

      The government will never allow deflation.

    • Jdog says:

      Meaningful deflation will only happen in an environment where Government spending is restricted. That is a political decision, and one that involves pain.
      I do not see the political will to go through pain to do what is responsible. If we were a responsible country, we would not have fiscal problems to begin with.
      Money destruction in the private sector, can cause targeted deflation in some assets such as equities and RE, but a change in the overall inflation requires less money created than goods and services, and IMO, the government would rather start WW3 than have that happen.

  15. Swamp Creature says:

    I would bet on raging inflation vs deflation.

    Wells Fargo just put a $2,500 button of their ATM machines for a cash withdrawal option. Also, they are encouraging $50 bills vs $20 bills for cash w/d.

    Look for $100 bills to be an option for cash w/d before long. This is starting to look like the Weimer Republic 2.0.

    • crazytown says:

      I’ve thought about this. When are they going to come out with a $250 note?

      [rhetorical question, they want us swiping plastic and racking up 3%+ transaction fees for the big banks. Extra bonus for being able to track everything you do]

      • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

        crazyt- think we’re there, already.

        To reprise my experience of a couple months back, was at the locally-owned pet needs brick ‘n mortar where the customer in front of me purchased $147.50 of feline food and sundries. She handed the young cashier $150, a 50 and five 20’s.

        The cashier had to call her supervisor to figure out what to do and how to do it…

        may we all find a better day.

        • crazytown says:

          Anti-cash propaganda has been widely successful. $100 isn’t a lot in an Era of grocery trips pushing $200, yet people still act like $100 bill is big money that only someone engaged in illicit activity would ever possess.

          I love the fast food places that don’t accept bills over $20. These are billion dollar companies and their franchisees owns hundreds of stores each, and they lose way more than that from employees stealing food or messing up orders. Yet they are scared to get a counterfeit which is pretty much impossible with modern designs. Quarter pounder meals for 4 push $50 now anyways, better to put that on the AmEx at 26.99% interest

        • Gattopardo says:


          That’s nuts. I’d been carrying around the same $100 and $20 bills for a year….until a week ago when the grocery store’s link went down. Credit cards no go. I stood there stumped until I realized I had just enough cash to cover it. Like old times.

          Funny, in Europe, when I use cash, I expect pushback from a EUR100 for something costing EUR15. So I apologize in advance, or ask if it’s ok. Never a problem.

      • Jdog says:

        Retailers whine about taking $100 bills, even though a $100 is roughly equivalent to a $10 in the 60’s and back then no one made a big deal of making change for a $10.

  16. I'm banned by Wolf says:

    Wolf copied this article from zerohedge where The Real Wolf wrote the article.
    All joking aside, by the comments on ZH, you obviously don’t get to moderate the comments.

  17. Swamp Creature says:

    Speaking of Inflation, just got back from my local bakery where I ordered a birthday cake for Ms Swamp. The price of the same cake which she purchased for my BD in Oct just went from $41 to $55 in just 3 months. This is starting to look like Argentina.

  18. rjs says:

    your note that unadjusted sales were at a record high, as they are almost every December, reminded me that seasonally adjusted sales fell 1.9% last December too…if i had time, i’d look into that seasonal adjustment…

Comments are closed.