Cotton prices are near their highest level in more than a decade, after adjusting for inflation, and leather and polyester costs are jumping as well. Copper recently hit its highest level in about 40 years, and iron ore, used for steel, is fetching extremely high prices. Prices for corn, sugar, wheat, beef, pork and coffee are soaring. Labor overseas is becoming more expensive, meanwhile, and so are the utility bills to keep a factory running.
“There are cost pressures from virtually everywhere,” said Wesley R. Card, the chief executive of the Jones Group, whose brands include Nine West and Anne Klein. After trying to keep retail prices flat or even lower during the recession, Jones says prices for its brands will climb 15 to 20 percent by autumn.
And check out the Billion Prices Project, an MIT program that tracks price changes in real time and thus leads (and is not manipulated like) government stats such as CPI.
High unemployment, rising inflation... Welcome back, Carter! Remember the Misery Index? Can we make a run at the record of 21.98 set in 1980? If we use U-6 unemployment and pre-manipulation CPI, we're already there!
By the percentage of the population on food stamps, we're already far worse than the 70's.