KEY POINTS
  • As shoppers await price cuts, retailers like Home Depot say their prices have stabilized and some national consumer brands have paused price increases or announced more modest ones.
  • Yet some industry watchers predict deflation for food at home later this year.
  • Falling prices could bring new challenges for retailers, such as pressure to drive more volume or look for ways to cover fixed costs, such as higher employee wages.

Just ahead of the holiday season, Walmart had encouraging news for inflation-weary shoppers: Prices on food and other staples were falling instead of rising. The retail giant said if the trend continued, it would soon contend with deflation in some of those key household categories, which would be a welcome sight for consumers emerging from the worst price increases in decades.

But the retail giant backpedaled this week, saying higher prices on many grocery items and household staples like paper goods have stuck.