We are confused: on one hand the Fed is injecting hundreds of billions of liquidity into the market, boosting the S&P to all time highs and making the rich richer (Piketty taking Excel lessons from Rogoff notwithstanding) while the economy remains stagnant because, according to the BLS, inflation is too low, and as everyone knows the biggest lament of the impoverished middle class is that "the value of my dollar isn't being destroyed fast enough for me to feel confident about the future." On the other hand, the very same Federal Reserve Bank (of Chicago), just announced that as a result of "prices continuing to increase between 3% and 33%" (!), beginning May 27 it is hiking the prices in its cafeteria. So, clearly prices are rising at a 33% clip due to, how does the IMF put it, lowflation, right? Oh, and harsh weather.
From the Chicago Fed, highlights ours
Subject: Reserve Center Cafe changes coming
Reserve CenterTM Tenants,
Due to rising product prices in the past several years, The Reserve Center will increase its prices in the cafeteria effective May 27.
Over the past five years, many of you may have experience product price increases in grocery stores. Prices continue to rise between 3% – 33%. For the past eight years, The Reserve Center has been absorbing these increases. The last overall price increase in The Reserve Center cafeteria took place in 2006, followed by a limited increase on sugar-based products in 2012.
For the upcoming price increase, a thorough review of café items was conducted and, while some prices will remain flat, others will increase to recognize these market increases. The price increase will help The Reserve Center cafeteria continue to maintain high standards and service levels by providing quality products.
Another change includes the introduction of new menu program changes to provide greater variety as we continue to refresh the cafeteria menu offerings. In the following months, we will be distributing a survey to obtain feedback on these new menu changes, as well as your food preferences so that we can continue to tailor menu offerings based on input we receive from our customers.
Lastly, we've reviewed feedback and in response The Reserve Center cafeteria will now close at 1:30 p.m. on Fridays. However, July 11 tahrough Aug. 29 we will close at 1 p.m. as the traffic is lighter due to vacations.
Thank you for your continued support of The Reserve Center cafeteria.
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
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The good news (for Fed employees): as we reported last year, the average annual increase in the salaries of Federal Reserve workers over the past year has been around 13%, so a price hike should be bearable.
Everyone else? As we showed in "Real Hourly Wages Decline For The First Time Since 2012" better luck next time.