What CEOs are saying: ‘We see inflation deeply entrenched’

Here is what two of the world’s corporate leaders said in their quarterly earnings reports recently about the economy, supply chain, and the advertising and energy markets.

Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon set the tone early this earnings season when he said inflation is “deeply entrenched” in the U.S. economy and impacting conditions on a multitude of fronts.

Since then, company leader after company leader has expressed similar sentiments.

Most say they’ve managed to navigate difficult times spurred by inflationary pressures at their highest level in more than 40 years. They report cutting costs, raising prices and generally trying to adapt models to the uncertainty of what’s ahead.

Tesla founder Elon Musk was practically apologetic on his company’s earnings call for hiking prices to meet higher costs.

“So I do feel like we’ve raised our prices. Well, we’ve raised our prices quite a few times. They’re frankly at embarrassing levels,” the mercurial electric vehicle pioneer told analysts. “But we’ve also had a lot of supply chain and production shocks, and we’ve got crazy inflation. So I am hopeful, this is not a promise or anything, but I’m hopeful that at some point we can reduce the prices a little bit.”

Nothing, however, seems certain at the moment, other than that inflation is on everyone’s mind.

Of the 91 S&P 500 companies that have reported so far, inflation has been mentioned on 85 of the analysts calls, according to a search of FactSet transcripts.

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