Winging It

Mike Zaccardi

ARE YOU READY FOR some football? Autumn is just around the corner and, if you’re like me, you can’t wait for those lazy Sunday afternoons kicking back and watching the gridiron. What about some munchies as you enjoy the on-field action? While the cost of everything food-related seems to be skyrocketing, there’s encouraging news for one popular football snack.

According to data from Bloomberg, wholesale chicken wing prices are down some 60% from a year ago. It’ll take a while before that price drop trickles through to the supermarket and our favorite barbecue joints, but it’s a promising sign. It seems some relief from food inflation is on its way.

Even for non-football fans and those less keen on meat, there’s good news. Oat prices are down about 25% from their peak in late 2021. Similarly, following an ill-timed bird flu outbreak, wholesale egg prices are now falling fast.

For many families, the relief offered by lighter grocery bills, smaller restaurant checks and lower gas prices can’t come soon enough. After benefitting from several fiscal stimulus packages during the pandemic, there are growing signs that the bottom and middle-income groups are financially strained. The excess savings built up during the pandemic are starting to slip away, while credit card debt is on the rise.

Along with easing inflation, there’s another encouraging sign: We still have a strong labor market, one where the lowest wage workers are garnering the highest raises. We’ll get a fresh look at the jobs situation on Sept. 2—just before the NFL season kicks off.

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