Wal-Marts CEO warns consumers on inflationPosted: March 31, 2011
When the nation’s low-cost leader in retail warns about rising prices, people listen. Late last night, USA Today interviewed Wal-Mart (WMT) CEO Bill Simon in an article titled “Wal-Mart CEO Bill Simon expects inflation.” Nothing in the article comes as a surprise to those of us paying attention to inflation but having Simon issue this warning gives a lot more credence to the assessment that inflation, and inflation expectations, are slowly but surely coming unhinged.
The article includes a video in which Simon notes that inflation is “starting to creep into the business.” He started seeing inflation pressures late last year in items like dairy and is now seeing it in transportation-related goods like paper. (I assume he meant goods that carry heavy transportation costs). The article also features some cautionary commentary from a retail analyst.
Key quote from Simon in the article:
“…Inflation is ‘going to be serious…We’re seeing cost increases starting to come through at a pretty rapid rate.'”
NPR blog is hosting an informal poll on inflation expectations here: “Wal-Mart CEO Sees Inflation Ahead; Do You?”