Saturday, November 27, 2010

Paging Paul Krugman 12: Stealth Price Increases?

EPJ's very own Taylor Conant reports:
Thought you may be interested to know I'm on a flight from atl back to dfw and noticed my minute maid aluminum can is 11.5 fl oz. Last time I had checked, 12 fl oz was a standard can. I can't see any of the other passenger's cans to see if they're all smaller and I'm not sure if this is specific to airtran but could be an example of producers shrinking their products to maintain prices, "stealth price increases" as you've mentioned before. Depends upon whether this is widespread or not.
Paul, any thoughts on this? How much liquid does you diet Coke can hold?  You would have caught this stealth price increase in your equations, right? Paul?


  1. I'm not surprised. I bought a pack of "little smokey," sausages at Wal Mart a few days ago. I noticed the pack was no longer 16 ounces as it had been just a few weeks ago. It is now a 14 ounce pack!

  2. Glad to see someone mention this! This is the main factor why prices seem to be going up in markets, despite claims of low inflation. Many packages are smaller, or there's less meat in the thing, or lower-quality source ingredients, a folded tortilla where the quesadilla used to be 2 tortillas with much more meat, now for the same price or even a bit more. So people in the stores experience much effective higher prices, and much less food for the money--the effect of inflation, essentially--even though inflation is technically minimal. File under "other aspects of a downward economic spiral"...