Supermarket Chain Owner Warns of Spike in Grocery Costs Through October

A senior African-American woman in her 60s shopping in a grocery store, carrying a shopping basket.
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Gristedes Supermarkets chain owner and CEO John Catsimatidis said yesterday that inflation will affect grocery prices until October.

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Catsimatidis said he expected that “by October you’re going to have over a 6% annualized rate of inflation,” according to Fox Business.

Last week, the Labor Department released its Consumer Price Index, showing the largest 12-month increase since a 5.4% jump for the period ending August 2008.

The CPI, which measures what consumers pay for goods and services, including clothes, groceries, restaurant meals, recreational activities and vehicles, saw a 0.9% increase in June, the largest one-month change since June 2008 when the index rose 1%, according to a release.

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Used cars and trucks continued to rise sharply, their index increasing 10.5% in June while the food index increased 0.8% in June, a larger increase than the 0.4% increase reported for May. The gasoline index rose 2.5% in June, with the overall energy index increasing 1.5%, according to Labor Department data.

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Following the release of the data today, the Biden administration Council of Economic Advisers tweeted:

“We know that the recovery from the pandemic will not be linear. The Council of Economic Advisers will continue to monitor the data as they come in.”

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Catsimatidis said that he expects a 10% to 14% spike in food prices by October first, according to Fox Business. Asked whether he is going to be forced to pass the extra costs onto consumers, he told Fox: “You have to pass it on, otherwise you’re not doing your duty to guard your country, your employees and your company.”

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, who appeared before the House Financial Services Committee last week, said that inflation had increased notably and will likely remain elevated in the coming months before moderating. “Strong demand in sectors where production bottlenecks or other supply constraints have limited production has led to especially rapid price increases for some goods and services, which should partially reverse as the effects of the bottlenecks unwind. Prices for services that were hard hit by the pandemic have also jumped in recent months as demand for these services has surged with the reopening of the economy,” he said.

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.
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