Major makers of everyday consumer products and groceries say they have to raise prices to offset soaring costs for their fuel and the materials and ingredients that go into their products.
Retailers are trying to pass that along at the cash register, adding pressure on a sluggish U.S. economic recovery.
The list of companies saying this week that they are raising prices is long: Kimberly-Clark Corp. (Huggies diapers, Kleenex facial tissue); Procter & Gamble Co. (Pampers diapers, Gillette shavers); Unilever PLC (Dove soap, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream); Colgate-Palmolive (toothpaste, soap); and PepsiCo Inc. (soft drinks, Frito-Lay snacks).
Even as corporate results were being analyzed on Wall Street, the news about Main Street wasn’t encouraging. The U.S. Commerce Department reported that economic growth slowed in the first three months of the year, while unemployment benefit requests climbed again last week.