Corporate profits increased by 25 percent in 2021 while inflation rose by 7 percent.

By Sharon Zhang, Truthout

As working-class Americans struggled with high inflation, corporate profits soared to a record high in 2021, reaching nearly $3 trillion.

Data from the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis shows that pre-tax profits over the whole year increased by a whopping 25 percent, reaching $2.8 trillion. The annualized rate of profit from the fourth quarter was even higher, at $2.94 trillion.

A man stands in a suite on a high floor of a city building looking at the skyline at sunset

The boost in profits exceeds the 7 percent inflation for consumer prices, bolstering arguments that companies are raising prices beyond inflation rates in order to pad their profits. Meanwhile, hourly wages for U.S. workers increased by about 4.7 percent last year, which is equivalent to a pay cut of about 2.4 percent.

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