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Consumer Cos Down Sharply On Covid Spread Concerns -- Consumer Roundup

07/30/2021 | 04:56pm EDT

Shares of retailers and other consumer companies fell sharply amid concerns about the implications of rising Covid 19 cases in the U.S.

A Commerce Department report confirmed a sharp increase in U.S. household spending bounced back in June as consumers shelled out more on services at the start of the summer, but a current upswing in Covid-19 cases related to the Delta variant is injecting uncertainty into the economic outlook.

Walmart is requiring corporate staffers and regional managers to get vaccinated for Covid-19 and is reinstating a mask mandate for workers in U.S. counties deemed at high risk of Covid transmission.

Inflation concerns are building among corporations and consumers. Procter & Gamble said it would hike prices to compensate for increases in commodity and ingredient costs. Shares of the consumer-products giant rose.

Rival Colgate-Palmolive said profit rose in the second quarter, benefiting from a rise in revenue, but cost pressures are expected to continue into the second half of the year.

International Consolidated Airlines Group said it was prepared to take advantage of a surge in air travel demand in line with increasing vaccination rates. Luxury concerns continued to register strong earnings, with Hermes the latest to post sales above prepandemic levels.

Write to Rob Curran at rob.curran@dowjones.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

07-30-21 1655ET

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