In the News

Did the pandemic lead to fewer customer discounts in stores?

Graham Watson

13th June 2020

This is a fascinating article about the nature of pricing goods and services during the pandemic, with implications for inflation too.

However, a great piece of research by the Institute for Fiscal Studies has discovered that the number of promotions run during the first month of the pandemic was 15% lower than might have been expected, leading the price of groceries to rise by 2.4% in a month, a rate more in keeping with the annual rate of price increases.

Now, call me cynical but supermarkets will have known that significant increases in goods where there were shortages, such as toilet roll, would have been seen as price gouging and offended the moral code that governs market transactions, so the lack of promotions is a cunning way of achieving the same effect.

Paul Johnson from the IFS has tweeted about this research - shown below.

Graham Watson

Graham Watson has taught Economics for over twenty years. He contributes to Tutor2U, reads voraciously and is interested in all aspects of Teaching and Learning.

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