The Economic Perspective: “Are Some Staples Still Hard to Find?”

Mary:  This is Mary Walden with economist MW, welcoming you to the economic perspective.  Today’s program asks if some staples are still hard to find.   Mike, at the outset of the pandemic many people rushed to stores to purchase common items like paper towels, toilet paper, and canned foods.   As a result, these items were quickly sold out and their shelves were bare.  Now six months in to the pandemic, have supplies of these necessities recovered?


Mike: Summary Answer

  • For the most part, yes
  • There are still some items whose supplies have not completely recovered – paper products, household cleaning products, and plastic storage products are good examples
  • Problem is one of suppliers not being able to keep up with demand
  • As a result, many of these items remain elevated in price – up between 5% and 10%
  • Like many things related to the pandemic, these supplies will get back to normal once our world does
  • I’m MW


Mary:  And I’m Mary Walden for the Economic Perspective, an NC State Extension program from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.