Data Points Endorsing Our Case for Buying What You Need?
We do not make macro forecasts. The evidence is overwhelming….they are difficult to make.
We do know there is a gasoline shortage. People will say it is because of hacking and not a real shortage. Right. The last time it was because of OPEC and that wasn’t a real shortage either. Here’s a simple question: if there’s a shortage of the most basic input to US trade and commerce, is the issue real? What did the people sitting in gas lines think in the 1970s? Could this be a sign we need to spend even more on infrastructure?
I see macro people debating endlessly about CPI and a declining dollar as if they were two totally different topics. My macro textbooks are old and dusty. Let me define “inflation” according to my family: when the prices of the stuff we buy rises in leaps and bounds, for whatever reason, that is inflation to us.
Below is the CRB Commodity Index. I don’t care if it is hackers, a shortage of chips, shortage of labor, shortage of lumber due to closed sawmills, shortage of shipping, “excess” demand due to central bank buying and legislative hand-outs, a shortage of housing, pay gapping higher at little employers like Amazon and Walmart, a massive infrastructure bill driving up input prices, a shortage of water driving up food prices etc. My family doesn’t care. Stuff is more expensive today.
A friend who owns his own auto-repair business told me the following: he is losing money. He has an endless demand for his services. To do a brake job he has to go to a minimum of two parts stores to get what he needs. He had a business spraying in the super-tough bed liners for pickup trucks. That business is closed. He ran through his last barrel yesterday and the supplier is saying months till another barrel is coming. My buddy said he has to put prices way up on auto repair. Again. I don’t have a clue if brakes, transmissions, serpentine belts, cam-chains and spray-in-bed liners are going to show up in CPI or a weaker dollar. But I do know we need all those things and the price of getting them is going higher.
As documented in our research pieces on Inflation & Equity Duration: Buy what you know and need. Here are the Staples Stocks that have announced price increases to date: Coca Cola, Hershey’s, Hormel, JM Smucker, P&G, Kimberley Clark, Colgate. For more research on buying simple, proven and profitable makers of the stuff we all must have at discounts to the market last seen at the peak of the internet bubble click here and here.