How big business is profiting from inflation

Supply chain snarls, product shortages and rising prices can be very good for the bottom line.

Consumers are now expecting higher prices at the checkout line, and companies are taking advantage by using the cover of inflation to raise prices and increase profits, says the writer. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG
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(NYTIMES) - Last autumn, as container ships piled up outside the Port of Los Angeles, it looked as if inflation was going to be with us for longer than many had predicted. Curious how CEOs were justifying higher prices, my team and I started listening in on hundreds of earnings calls, where, by law, companies have to tell the truth. While official statistics on inflation such as the Consumer Price Index can tell you that prices are rising, earnings calls provide rich, qualitative data that speaks to why and how.

Executives from America's largest publicly traded companies had a lot to report to their shareholders about supply chain snarls, product shortages and rising prices - mostly that they were very good for business.

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