Great Scott! Inflation Is Real on Toilet Paper Prices

Number of the Day: The most relevant or interesting figure in personal finance

16.3% - NOTD

That’s how much the price of toilet paper has shot up in the last year, according to data from NielsenIQ, and apparently, it’s only going to get worse.

The unit price for toilet paper—the average price for packages of all different sizes—was $8.32 in the week through April 3, up from $7.16 a year earlier, according to NielsenIQ, a consumer data company.

With commodities and other raw materials becoming more expensive, these and other consumer prices are on the rise, and only expected to get higher as demand increases with the economic rebound. Kimberly Clark has said it would bump up prices of products like its Scott brand bathroom tissue by late June due to “significant commodity cost inflation,” while Procter & Gamble said it would raise prices for some of its brands in September.

In March, the core inflation rate (excluding volatile food and energy prices) accelerated to 1.8% from 1.4% in February, the government said Friday. This year-over-year change in the Personal Consumption Expenditure (PCE) Index—the Federal Reserve’s preferred measure for inflation—is the highest since February 2020, though still below the Fed’s ideal of 2%.

Note

The Fed, which can help defuse price increases by raising benchmark interest rates, acknowledged the higher inflation this week, but said it largely reflects “transitory factors” that don’t merit any course corrections on the part of the central bank.

Article Sources

  1. Procter & Gamble Company. "P&G Announces Fiscal Year 2021 Third Quarter Results."

  2. Kimberly-Clark. "Kimberly-Clark Announces Price Increases for North American Consumer Products Business."

  3. Bureau of Economic Analysis. "Personal Income and Outlays, March 2021."

  4. Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. "Why Does the Fed Care about Inflation?"

  5. Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. "Median PCE Inflation."

  6. Federal Reserve. "Federal Reserve Press Release."