US Department of Labor reports increased food and energy prices in August
John Katsimetidis believes inflation at the gas pump and grocery aisle won’t go away anytime soon.
“Inflation is here to stay,” he said on Granthshala Business’ “Warney & Company.”
Consumer prices up 5.3% annually in August
Katsimetidis, who runs the Gristeads grocery chain in New York and also has an oil business, said manufacturers are “panic” as food, energy and transportation costs rise.
His remarks came as the Labor Department said on Tuesday that the consumer price index rose 5.3% year over year last month, matching economists’ expectations.
Energy prices rose 2% last month, mostly due to a 2.8% increase in the gasoline index. Food prices increased by 0.4%.
Grocery prices hiked: Kroger
Catsimatidis also pointed to a shortage of truck drivers, adding to their business problems.
“Our New York store is lacking because Coca-Cola, they can’t get truckers to deliver it to New York City,” he told host Stuart Varney. “And that’s a serious problem.”
Catsimatidis’ remarks contradict the Federal Reserve, which has firmly held its belief that inflation is “transient” and that price pressures will ease as a solution to supply-chain disruptions caused by COVID-19.
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Catsimatidis argued that the higher transportation costs would be “forever”.
“Crude oil is $70 a barrel,” he said. “Do you think the Saudis, the Russians are going to accept less than $70 a barrel? That’s not going to happen.”
Catsimatidis said that if the labor shortage improves, transportation costs could come down, especially if the country stops “giving unemployment checks”.
“I don’t see a fall in prices in the near future and crude oil prices are not going down,” he said.
Granthshala Business’ Jonathan Garber contributed to this article.