Gristeds CEO John Katsimetidis calls inflation ‘a tax’ on the poor, middle class
John Katsimidis, the billionaire owner and CEO of New York City supermarket chain Gristedes, warned that high prices for things like food and gas would persist “at least through the middle of 2022.”
Catsimatidis made the prediction while speaking with Granthshala Business’ Neil Cavuto during the Granthshala Business special “Inflation in America” on Wednesday, shortly after it was revealed that US consumer prices rose last month at their fastest annual pace in 13 years.
Catsimatidis told Cavuto that inflation is really “a tax on the poor and a tax on the middle class because when corporations are being taxed and they send it to the stores, guess what? They’re going to raise prices.” Huh.”
“They will either raise prices or go bankrupt,” he said.
According to the Labor Department, the consumer price index rose 5.4% year over year in September, matching the July reading for the hottest print since 2008. Month-on-month prices increased by 0.4%.
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Analysts polled by Refinitiv were expecting prices to rise between 5.3% and 0.3% annually in September.
According to the index, food prices rose 0.9% last month and are now up 4.6% annually. Prices of meat, poultry, fish and eggs increased 10.5% this yearWhile beef prices climbed up to 17.6%. Fruits and vegetables rose 3 per cent.
Catsimatidis noted that companies are facing higher input costs and this leads to higher prices at the grocery store.
He stressed that companies “don’t want a bad quarter” so they are passing along their higher costs to the consumer.
Prices rise highest in 13 years as energy bills rise
Americans are also dealing with rising energy costs, according to the Consumer Price Index released Wednesday, which climbed 1.3% in September and is now up 24.8% from the previous year.
For Americans earning a median annual income of about $70,000, inflation has forced them to spend an additional $175 a month on food, gas, and housing, The New York Post reported Last week, citing Moody’s Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi.
Catsimatidis, who is also the CEO of United Refining, argued that Americans are seeing higher prices for gas “the first week Biden was in office and he killed the pipeline.”
In a series of orders aimed at combating climate change, President Biden temporarily suspended the issuance of oil and gas permits on federal land and waters and canceled the Keystone XL oil pipeline project.
President Biden revoked permits for a 1,700-mile pipeline on his first day in office, ending a project that expected more jobs 11,000 American this year.
Catsimatidis pointed out that under former President Trump the US was producing more oil every day than it is now.
He said that the price of oil is approx. $40 a barrel About $80 a barrel since President Biden took office.
West Texas Intermediate crude fell 71 cents to $79.93 a barrel on Wednesday.
“Don’t kill America,” Catsimatidis said on Wednesday, arguing that the major player in the oil industry is now Russia.
“We handed it over to the Russians,” he said.
Gas prices have skyrocketed across the country, except six states With prices under $3 per gallon as of Tuesday.
The national average stood at $3.29 on Wednesday, slightly higher than the day before and $1.11 higher than the same period last year. according to AAA.
“The key driver for the recent increase in the price of gas is crude oil, which typically accounts for between 50% and 60% of the price at the pump,” said AAA spokesman Andrew Gross. “And last week’s decision by OPEC and its oil-producing allies not to increase production further accelerated the upward momentum for crude oil prices.”
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Brent crude fell to $ 82.79 a barrel on Wednesday. Two days ago, the global oil benchmark touched $84.60, the highest level since October 2018.
Catsimatidis stressed that when “crude oil goes from $40 to $80 a barrel and the United States has reduced production and we’re getting worse with pipeline conditions in Canada, our crude oil from Canada.” What happens if you can’t find it? The price went up to $80 a barrel and we’re paying [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and we are paying OPEC $80 a barrel for crude.”
He then explained that the increased oil price leads to higher prices for food because “everything is transported by truck to grocery stores.”
Catsimatidis said the price hike from manufacturers is also a result of higher costs for labor, a shortage of truck drivers, as well as other increased input costs.
Granthshala Business’ Jonathan Garber contributed to this report.