Americans are mad about the economy, but still ready to shop
Holiday shopping is going to be annoying this year. Many things are more expensive, and in-demand items are hard to find. It’s a real “All I want for Christmas is to stop hearing about supply chains and inflation for half a second” moment.
While it’s a weird time in the economy, that weirdness isn’t necessarily translating to people holding back on buying. People are shopping a little differently this holiday season, but they’re not not shopping. Nearly two years into a pandemic, the American consumer will not be deterred, at least not entirely.
But they probably won’t be happy about it. The consumer price index, which measures what consumers pay for goods and services, increased by 6.2 percent from a year ago in October, and it crept up by 0.9 percent over the course of the month alone. Regardless of the arguments over how serious a threat inflation is to the American economy right now (some economists say it’s a big deal, others that it’s not), consumers hate it. The price of food is up 5.3 percent over the last year, meaning holiday meals are going to be more expensive. Gas is pricey, too, meaning so is traveling by car. Big-ticket items, including cars, are more expensive, but so are smaller-ticket ones, like apparel.