If you’re a regular grocery shopper, you see it over and over: same price, smaller package. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:
You can’t reduce the size of a 4×8 sheet of plywood to hide the rising cost of one – or shave some length off a 2x4x8 – without it being not only obvious but an issue, functionally. Try siding a house with 4×7.4 sheets of plywood, for instance.
So, instead, the price goes up. Which is really a measure of the value of your money going down.
The same has been happening for some time at supermarkets, less noticeably. Or at least in a way that makes many people not notice it because that pack of bacon they just bought still costs about the same as it cost a year ago.
Fewer rolls of paper towels – but the price seem unchanged. Such illusions of economic stability are to be found in practically every aisle and on every shelf of the grocery store – the happy spell only broken when you check out your handful of stuff and discover it cost you $100 – or more – for what used to cost you $60 or less.
But the destruction of the value of money – manifested by its ominously decreasing purchasing power – is becoming impossible to not notice when it comes to products that can’t be skimmed, put less of into the same size packages.
A very objective measure of how fast things are slipping – by observing how fast things are rising – is what you could call The 4×8 Plywood Index. About two years ago – in the fall of 2018 – the average national cost of a sheet of 4×8 construction-grade plywood was just $10 or so.
Fast-forward two years and that same sheet of plywood now costs $25 or more (depending on the finish). Some cost $40 per sheet. Have a look for yourself. Or do a fly-by of your local Lowes or Home Depot.