Consumer Cos Up As Demand Hopes Offset Inflation Fears -- Consumer Roundup

10/13/2021 | 05:19pm

Shares of retailers and other consumer companies rose as hopes for higher demand offset fears about persistent inflation.

The Labor Department said last month's consumer-price index, which measures what consumers pay for goods and services, rose to 5.4% from a year earlier, in unadjusted terms, the highest rate in more than a decade.

"Rising food prices, energy costs, utilities, and new vehicles all confirmed what every American already knows ... Inflation remains elevated," said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at foreign-exchange brokerage OANDA Group, in a note to clients.

The persistent price increases could lead investors and consumers to lose faith in the Federal Reserve's predictions that inflation is a temporary side effect of the snapback from the pandemic economy, according to Mr. Moya and others. "The transitory argument is weakening and that trend will continue to move forward Fed rate hike expectations," said Mr. Moya.

Delta Air Lines posted a quarterly profit as travel demand began to recover in recent weeks despite the spread of a more contagious Covid-19 variant, though the company said it faces pressure from rising fuel prices.

Shares of Southwest Airlines continued their recent descent, as the knock-on effects of a wave of cancellations weighed on the budget carrier.

France has accused more than 100 companies, including units of Nestlé, of colluding not to disclose information to consumers about the presence of a chemical in food packaging that some scientists say could be harmful.

 Write to Rob Curran at rob.curran@dowjones.com 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

10-13-21 1718ET

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