U.S. Consumers Face Shortage Of Goods, Higher Prices

Shortages of products like meat, lumber and rental cars linked to higher demand, labor shortages.
Posted at 3:30 PM, May 12, 2021

Just about everything seems impossible to buy these days. From houses to rental cars.

"We sell everything in one day. Everything we open up, we sell the same day," Matt Kelsey, a sales manager with said Casa Fresca Homes in Tampa, Florida.

"They said they didn't have any cars and I had already paid for it," said Shaniqua Long who was traveling to Las Vegas, Nevada.

Even chlorine tablets.

"The price has been through the roof," Nicholas Bissanti, owner-operator for In The Solution Pool Care in Cape Coral, Florida, said.

And lots of other consumer goods. In fact, the Consumer Price Index rose 0.8% from March to April — higher than the 0.2% that was expected. Year to year, the index climbed 4.2 percent...a pace we haven’t seen in more than a decade. So what’s going on here? 

For starters, the government has injected $6 trillion of relief to help Americans and businesses pay their bills. And with vaccination rates up, the demand for goods and services has soared. But the supply isn't quite there to meet it yet. 

This has led to a lot of concern over inflation, but Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell says any pressure on prices isn't something to panic over. 

"Those pressures are likely to be temporary, as they are associated with the reopening process," said Jerome Powell, chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Some experts believe the pandemic will end up making supply chains more efficient. But fears over lingering inflation still run deep, especially as businesses across the country struggle with labor shortages and pass along higher costs to consumers.