Virus Driving Swings in Supply, Demand, Cost

The laws of supply and demand continue to work while the coronavirus brings other economic principles into question.

The cost of food at home was up 4.6 percent in August compared to 2019, the biggest rise in almost a decade. In workplaces and school cafeterias, food was 3 percent cheaper.

Food prices move a lot, but the same pattern proves true for products related to our more domestic lifestyles. Few home workers need a new suit or dress (down 17 percent), makeup (down 3 percent), hotel room (down 13 percent) or air ticket (down 23 percent).

Beyond groceries, other prices on the rise are pajamas (men’s nightwear is up 4 percent), cycling (bikes up 6 percent), and reading for pleasure (books up 4 percent, newspapers 5 percent).

Higher education is less attractive. Tuition fees are up 1.3 percent—the lowest since data collection begain in the 1970s.

Source: Wall Street Journal