2022年12月8日 星期四

Rocketing Prices Of Foods Elevate Company Profits 物價飆漲 企業荷包跟著賺滿滿

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2022/12/09 第412期 訂閱/退訂看歷史報份
紐時周報精選 Rocketing Prices Of Foods Elevate Company Profits 物價飆漲 企業荷包跟著賺滿滿
Cheap Drones and Western Weapons Turn Tide 西方武器相助 烏克蘭在砲戰中扭轉戰局
Rocketing Prices Of Foods Elevate Company Profits 物價飆漲 企業荷包跟著賺滿滿
文/Isabella Simonetti、Julie Cr

物價飆漲 企業荷包跟著賺滿滿

A year ago, a bag of potato chips at the grocery store cost an average of $5.05. These days, that bag costs $6.05. A dozen eggs that could have been picked up for $1.83 now average $2.90. A 2-liter bottle of soda that cost $1.78 will now set you back $2.17.


Something else is also much higher: corporate profits.


In mid-October, PepsiCo, whose prices for its drinks and chips were up 17% in the latest quarter from year-earlier levels, reported that its third-quarter profit grew more than 20%. Likewise, Coca-Cola reported profit up 14% from a year earlier, thanks in large part to price increases.


Restaurants keep getting more expensive, too. Chipotle Mexican Grill, which said prices by the end of the year would be nearly 15% higher than a year earlier, reported $257.1 million in profit in the latest quarter, up nearly 26% from a year earlier.


For years, food companies and restaurants generally raised prices in small steps, worried that big increases would frighten consumers and send them looking for cheaper options. But over the past year, as wages increased and the cost of the raw ingredients used to make treats like cookies, chips, sodas and the materials to package them soared, food companies and restaurants started passing along those expenses to customers.


But amid growing concerns that the economy could be headed for a recession, some food companies and restaurants are continuing to raise prices even if their own inflation-driven costs have been covered. Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Chipotle did not respond to requests for comment.


"The recent earnings calls have only reinforced the familiar and unwelcome theme that corporations did not need to raise their prices so high on struggling families," said Kyle Herrig, the president of Accountable.US, an advocacy organization. "The calls tell us corporations have used inflation, the pandemic and supply chain challenges as an excuse to exaggerate their own costs and then nickel and dime consumers."

倡議組織Accountable US總裁海瑞格說:「最近的財報電話會議只是強化了一個熟悉且不受歡迎的主題,也就是企業面對苦苦掙扎的家庭,沒必要把價格漲到這麼高。這些會議告訴我們,企業以通膨、疫情及供應鏈挑戰為藉口,誇大自身成本,然後一點一滴榨乾消費者。」

Over the past year, the price of food eaten at home has soared 13%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, with some items spiking even higher. Cereals and bakery goods are up 16.2% from a year ago, closely followed by dairy, which has risen 15.9%.


The cost of eating at restaurants has risen 8.5% over the same period.



Cheap Drones and Western Weapons Turn Tide 西方武器相助 烏克蘭在砲戰中扭轉戰局
文/Andrew E. Kramer

西方武器相助 烏克蘭在砲戰中扭轉戰局

On the screen of a thermal imaging camera, the Russian armored personnel carrier disappeared in a silent puff of smoke.


"What a beautiful explosion," said 1st Lt. Serhiy, a Ukrainian drone pilot who watched as his weapon buzzed into a Russian-controlled village and picked off the armored vehicle, a blast that was audible seconds later at his position about 4 miles away.


"We used to cheer, we used to shout, 'Hurray!' but we're used to it now," he said.


The war in Ukraine has been fought primarily through the air, with artillery, rockets, missiles and drones. And for months, Russia had the upper hand, able to lob munitions at Ukrainian cities, towns and military targets from positions well beyond the reach of Ukrainian weapons.


But in recent months, the tide has turned along the front lines in southern Ukraine. With powerful Western weapons and deadly homemade drones, Ukraine has artillery superiority in the area, commanders and military analysts say.


Ukraine now has an edge in range and in precision-guided rockets and artillery shells, a class of weapons largely lacking in Russia's arsenal.


The Russian military remains a formidable force, with cruise missiles, a sizable army and millions of rounds of artillery shells, albeit imprecise ones. It has just completed a mobilization effort that will add 300,000 troops to the battlefield, Russian commanders say, although many of those will be ill-trained and ill-equipped. And President Vladimir Putin has made clear his determination to win the war at almost any cost.


Still, there is no mistaking the shifting fortunes on the southern front.


Ukraine's growing advantage in artillery, a stark contrast to fighting throughout the country over the summer when Russia pummeled Ukrainian positions with mortar and artillery fire, has allowed slow if costly progress in the south toward the strategic port city of Kherson, the only provincial capital that Russia managed to occupy after invading in February.


"We can reach them and they cannot reach us," said Maj. Oleksandr, the commander of an artillery battery on the Kherson front, who like others interviewed for this article gave only his first name for security reasons. "They don't have these weapons."


This firepower has tipped the balance in the south, raising expectations that a long-anticipated assault on Kherson is drawing near.



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