Ho-Ho-Woe: Higher Prices Here for the Holidays

Santa could use some more elves and a stimulus check this year. Heading into the holiday season, prices for everything continue to rise---from traditional Christmas gifts like clothes and electronics, to everyday items like coffee and toilet paper. Texas economist Ray Perryman with the Perryman Group says a confluence of events has created a perfect storm. "A combination of high demand, inadequate supply, and higher costs of shipping and transportation," he tells KTRH. "With all three of those combined, it's very difficult to do anything about that in the short term."

At the root of the problem is the supply chain backlog, which has been building for months. "Getting goods into the ports---there's some evidence that's getting a little better---but there's still a blockade there," says Perryman. "Then not having enough people to drive the trucks once you get the items inside the country and that sort of thing...so you've got some logistical issues."

Those logistical issues will not be resolved in time for trimming trees and stuffing stockings this year, so shoppers should prepare. "I do think this is something that is going to be a source of concern in the months ahead, and I think if consumers want goods and services for Christmas, they really have no choice but to pay a little more right now," says Perryman.

Paying more is one thing...finding what you want in stock is another. A new report from Adobe Analytics says out-of-stock messages for online shoppers have risen 172 percent since January 2020. "If you see the toy that your kid wants or the electronic that you want for Christmas available now, you should go ahead and get it," says Perryman. "Because this is not the kind of problem that will be solved quite that quickly."

Photo: AFP

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