MarketWatch on Saturday said it had deleted a tweet that implied “average Americans” were paying $5 for a gallon of gas, $90 for a bottle of wine and $200 for concert tickets in the current economy.
The article, which focused on growing inflation, was also corrected for the same reasons.
“A previous version of this report inaccurately implied that $5-a-gallon gasoline, $90 bottles of wine and $200 concert tickets were typical purchases of late among average Americans. The story has been corrected,” an editor’s note read, mirroring the tweet. The corrected article noted that the national average gas price is currently $3.41.
Many Twitter users called the MarketWatch article and the deleted tweet “alarmist.” Others claimed it was “clickbait.”
“I’m an average American and I paid $199.99 for a gallon of milk today,” one user joked. “Please DM me for your next inflation alarmism piece.”
“I think you’re not grasping that the examples in your click bait tweet weren’t the whole problem,” another commented.
“I genuinely love making the story ‘$5 for a gallon of gas!’ and then using a photo where gas is under $4,” another pointed out.
But others clarified that inflation is real.
“It’s not fear mongers,” another user wrote. “Anyone who has stepped into a grocery, store, or restaurant recently can see that the price skyrocketed.”
The U.S. has been experiencing its highest annual inflation rate in 31 years and this year’s Thanksgiving dinner is estimated to cost Americans 14% more – also the biggest jump in 31 years, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.
Instead of sinking into a prolonged downturn after coronavirus pandemic lockdowns, the economy staged an unexpectedly rousing recovery, fueled by massive government spending and a bevy of emergency moves by the Fed. By spring of this year, the rollout of vaccines had emboldened consumers to return to restaurants, bars and shops.
Suddenly, businesses had to scramble to meet demand. They couldn’t hire fast enough to plug job openings — a near record 10.4 million in August — or buy enough supplies to fill customer orders. As business roared back, ports and freight yards couldn’t handle the traffic. Global supply chains became snarled.
Costs rose. And companies found that they could pass along those higher costs in the form of higher prices to consumers.
“A sizeable chunk of the inflation we’re seeing is the inevitable result of coming out of the pandemic,” Jason Furman, a former Obama economic adviser, told The Associated Press.
Harvard economist Kenneth Rogoff told Fox Business on Friday that inflation is wreaking havoc across the country ahead of the holiday season and pressuring the Federal Reserve to get the U.S. back on track.
“I think we’re on a knife-edge,” Rogoff said. “I think it’s pretty clear that the first stimulus right after Biden took office and maybe the one at the end of the year in 2020 were a little too late in the game. They have added to the inflation, along with supply chain and everything else.”
Fox Business’ Alicia Warren and The Associated Press contributed to this report.