The Washington Post

Consumers rein in home-care purchases

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Higher prices for personal and home-care items are finally driving consumers to buy less.

U.S. retail unit sales for items such as laundry detergent, shampoo and diapers fell in the three months through July 10 compared with a year earlier, according to a Bloomberg Intelligen­ce report citing data from the market researcher IRI. Volume declined for seven out of the nine categories tracked, with facial cosmetics and adult incontinen­ce products being the only exceptions.

Consumer-goods giants including Procter & Gamble and Kimberly- Clark have raised prices to counter higher costs for freight, labor and raw materials such as the pulp that goes into toilet paper.

Shoppers continue to spend, but the highest inflation since 1981 is making it harder to keep up.

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