The Roar Of Inflation

Price hikes are sweeping our industry. So, we're scrambling to innovate while waiting for the Fed's medicine to work

In recent months, many entrepreneurs have been second-guessing Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan's aggressive inflation-fighting. I'm afraid I can't join the chorus. Our packaging business is awash in rising costs. The price of the plastic sheeting we convert into bags has risen more than 20% in the past 18 months thanks to a rapid consolidation among suppliers and skyrocketing oil prices. Other basic supplies like boxes have jumped over 10%. To top it off, the sizzling San Francisco Bay Area housing market, combined with a rock-bottom jobless rate, has compelled us to increase wages 5% this year.

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