Datawatch: Unchecked power of corporations in pricing is a factor in inflation in the US

Profit margins for American companies have reached levels not seen since World War II.

Profit margin after taxes in the US

There is a strong correlation between the rising share of corporate profits in gross domestic product and the surge in U.S. prices following the Covid pandemic, according to the study. article published by the University of Massachusetts.

Having made windfall profits from fluctuating commodity prices and supply bottlenecks, large companies have dared to raise prices further to boost profit margins.

They found that there was little evidence that the models used to explain inflation in the 1970s, such as excess aggregate demand, money expansion, or increased wage costs that caused the spiral, applied to this recent recovery. According to them, the increase in prices due to Covid-19 is mainly seller inflation. Where all their competitors are experiencing cost increases, companies feel safe passing them on to others, waiting for an “implicit agreement” that competitors will do the same.

Federica Cocco and Keith Frey

Our other schedules of the week. . .

The introduction of teleworking as a result of the pandemic has helped boost fertility, especially among wealthier and more educated women.

“While a prolonged decline in fertility rates in developed countries makes it difficult to be generally optimistic about the future trajectory of fertility, the growth of teleworking is one factor that is likely to help move in the other direction, at least in some subpopulations,” the authors note. analysis by the Economic Innovation GroupAmerican Think Tank.

Raising the birth rate will provide an important impetus to economic growth and counterbalance demographic changes such as population aging.

The study also found that unmarried teleworkers are significantly more likely than non-workers to plan to get married in the next year. This may be because remote workers have a higher rate of migration than other workers, meaning that those interested in marriage may have moved closer to a potential spouse.

Federica Cocco

Rising since 2013, Britain’s approval rating for the EU leadership rose above 50 percent in 2022 for the first time since the survey began. 51 per cent, more than the 46 per cent who approve of the UK’s leadership.

The last time most Britons approved of the country’s leadership was in 2006, when Tony Blair was prime minister.

Federica Cocco

Most Britons support the strikes of nurses and ambulance workers. According to the polling company Ipsos, this share has increased by 3 percent since January.

Teachers and railway workers are the next most supported, also increasing since January, while support for strikes in other sectors, including border and passport control officers, civil servants, university staff and driving testers, has declined.

Thursday’s talks between ministers and health unions led to promising payment offer. Significantly improved conditions for nurses, ambulance staff and other NHS workers in England have raised hopes for other disputes to be resolved soon.

RMT has agreed to a vote by the members on an improved offer from Network Rail and teachers’ unions started negotiations on payment, conditions and workload on Friday.

Serena Chan

Bar chart as a percentage of total passenger cars showing that SUVs have achieved a record share of new car sales in the EU.

The European energy crisis hasn’t pushed customers away from big cars.

According to market researcher Jato Dynamics, total SUV sales rose 14 percent year-on-year to 464,000 units in January, representing a record 51 percent share of all new car registrations in the EU.

While petrol and diesel models remain the most popular, accounting for about three-quarters of new SUV sales, the numbers show demand for plug-in hybrid and pure electric versions of the Chelsea Tractor is gaining ground.

Despite the release of more environmentally friendly electric models, SUVs continue to enjoy huge popularity. Plug-in hybrid SUVs, which offer a compromise between more polluting internal combustion engines and expensive clean electric vehicles, have generated particularly strong interest.

Patrick Maturin

Welcome to Datawatch – regular readers of the Financial Times print edition can recognize him by his everyday house on the front page.

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