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High inflation is pinching, ‘consumers more discriminating with every dollar’, McDonald’s says

Inflation remains a pressing concern for some of America’s most prominent corporations, with rising prices impacting consumers and bottom lines.

While the rate of inflation has moderated compared to its peak, it remains above the Federal Reserve’s target of 2%.(AFP)

McDonald’s CEO, Chris Kempczinski, highlighted the ongoing challenges faced by consumers during the company’s recent earnings call, noting that elevated prices are prompting individuals to be more discerning with their spending. This sentiment reflects a broader trend observed across various sectors, where consumers are grappling with higher costs for everyday goods and services.

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“Consumers continue to be even more discriminating with every dollar that they spend as they faced elevated prices in their day-to-day spending,” he noted.

Inflation weighing on consumer confidence

While the rate of inflation has moderated compared to its peak, it remains above the Federal Reserve’s target of 2%. This sustained inflationary environment has weighed on consumer confidence, with recent data indicating a decline in sentiment as individuals navigate the impact of rising prices on their purchasing power.

Companies like McDonald’s are feeling the effects of inflation on their bottom line, with same-store sales growth falling short of expectations. The need to prioritize affordability has become paramount for businesses aiming to attract customers amidst increasing price sensitivity among consumers.

Other firms, including 3M and Newell Brands, have also voiced concerns about “continued softness in consumer discretionary spend.” Despite delivering solid financial results, these companies anticipate continued pressure on discretionary spending as consumers grapple with the cumulative impact of inflation on their budgets.

Newell Brands CEO Chris Peterson joined the chorus of executives pointing to inflation as ruining their businesses. The company issued soft guidance for current-quarter earnings and said revenue is likely to decline.

“The categories we compete in remain under pressure with consumers continuing to carefully manage their discretionary spend as the cumulative impact of inflation on food, energy and housing cost has outpaced wage growth,” Peterson said.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR author-default-90x90

Vertika Kanaujia is Editor Audience Growth at Hindustan Times and oversees the website’s coverage of business news, health, technology and internet culture. She is a Chevening Scholar and a Columbia Journalism University Fellow. Vertika has been a journalist for more than 18 years. After starting her career as a business journalist in TV she has worked with various leading news channels. You can email her at [email protected]. …view detail

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