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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Companies are making money at record rates thanks in part to customers who are willing to pay higher prices.

Why it matters: In order to keeping that corporate profitability streak going, shoppers should expect sticker prices to stay high or become more expensive well into 2022. Fewer promotions and shallower discounts will also become the norm as inventory levels remain low.

Driving the news: The number of events where companies have mentioned "price increase/s" in the third quarter more than doubled from last year, according to Nick Mazing, director of research at Sentieo, a financial research platform.

  • The exact phrases came up in 1,784 transcript documents third quarter, up from 690 in 2020, with August seeing the most significant number of mentions — 889 times versus 317 times last year.

A sampling...

  • Food: Albertsons, Chipotle and Nestle have all benefitted from higher prices this year.
  • Toys and gifts: Hasbro price hikes began in August, enough to cover their costs, the toy company announced today — amid industry wide inflation of 10%.
  • Apparel: Cotton T-shirts, jeans and sneakers are among wardrobe items also seeing or expected to see hikes.

The big picture: U.S. consumers have amassed an excess of $2.3 trillion in savings since the pandemic began, and are feeling more confident their incomes will grow, signaling to many analysts that spending isn't slowing down.

What they're saying: "If you look at retail sales, if you look at personal savings, if you look at real time credit card spending data, there is demand out there, and it's not slowed materially in the face of a Delta Variant," Anastasia Amoroso, chief investment strategist at iCapital, tells Axios.

What to watch: Fed Chair Jerome Powell on Friday said he’s become more concerned about worsening supply chain problems and higher inflation.

  • Meanwhile, retailers are lobbying Congress to pass laws that could help add more truck drivers and bring down shipping costs.

Go deeper

College students have advice for Jerome Powell

Photo illustration: Megan Robinson. Photo: Federalreserve, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Speed up the taper, supercharge communication and release the digital coin white paper — this is advice to the Federal Reserve from a surprising source: college kids.

The backstory: For a few minutes each year, the students act as Fed officials and compete to pitch staffers the best direction for the nation’s economy.

Movie theaters go out of style

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Vaccination rates are going up, people are going out to restaurants again — although the new COVID variant may get in the way — but they still aren't rushing back to the movies.

By the numbers: Some 49% of pre-pandemic moviegoers are no longer hitting theaters, according to a study from the film research company The Quorum, as reported by the New York Times.

40 mins ago - Health

Vaccine mandates lose steam in the U.S. while Europe doubles down

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

European countries are doubling down on pressure campaigns to get people vaccinated just as Republicans continue to wage war — often successfully — against vaccine mandates in the U.S.

Why it matters: The starkly different approaches create a sharp contrast between the regions' approaches to vaccination, even as the Omicron variant rapidly spreads around the world.