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CNBC has an interview with Albertsons president-CEO Vivek Sankaran in which he says that "the U.S. consumer has, so far, been able to handle rising inflation."

"The inflation is higher. It is, let’s say, between 3% and 4% if you just do the math on different months and normalize for it … It used to be typically 1.5%, so it’s a little bit higher," Sankaran says, adding, “That said, it’s happening in an environment where the consumer is really strong. We haven’t seen the consumer affected yet by that level of inflation."

In characterizing the strength of ther consumer coming out of the pandemic, Sankaran says that certain behaviors seem to persist:  “They traded up on meats, buying prime beef. They traded up to shellfish. They traded up to premium wines, and they have stayed with that behavior.  Even today, we are selling so many flowers.”

KC's View:

The thing about this story is the degree to which, while there certainly are some economic issues coming out of the pandemic, it really is extraordinary the degree to which the country has rebounded from a time of, to put it bluntly, plague.

I keep worrying, though, that this is a house of cards … that a stiff breeze could do a lot of damage to whatever seems to be going on.  (If that stiff breeze comes in the form of a Covid resurgence because of a variant that circumvents all the progress we've made with vaccines, then I shudder to think what could happen.)