A Majority of Americans Feel Inflation is Detrimental

According to a new poll, over three-quarters of consumers in the United States feel growing inflation has harmed their financial situation.

According to a Bankrate study conducted last month, individuals of all ages and backgrounds feel the pinch of rising costs.

74% of US adults who have seen the impact of inflation indicate they are now financially worse off. This figure is up from 66% in July when the study was conducted.

Consumer prices increased 7.5 percent in the twelve months ending in January, the highest rate in four decades and a significant half-percentage point increase over December’s figure.

Since President Joe Biden took office, inflation has been steadily rising. Many experts blame the higher prices on last year’s record fiscal spending.

Older Adults Most Affected

The Bankrate poll discovered the negative consequences of inflation are particularly severe for older adults. There were significant disparities in how various generations and consumer groups perceived inflation.

For example, 94 percent of boomers (ages 58–76) said rising food prices had an impact on them, compared to 89 percent of Generation X (ages 42–57), 72 percent of millennials (ages 26–41), and only 52 percent of Generation Z (ages 18–25).

Regarding gas prices, which have been continuously increasing, nearly nine in ten seniors say they have felt the impact. At the same time, 79% of Gen X, 62% of millennials, and 47% of Generation Zers agree.

Ted Rossman, a senior industry analyst at Bankrate, said economic and personal factors were to blame for the huge differences in income levels between different age groups.

According to Rossman, a reason presumably at work is older generations recall the soaring inflation that afflicted most of the 1970s and early 1980s.

There were instances of double-digit inflation throughout that period; controlling the rising costs became a major economic challenge and a key priority for the administration.

Inflation is currently at its highest level since 1982.

Interest Rate Hikes

The Federal Reserve is preparing to raise interest rates for the first time in years, due to the country’s rising inflation fears. This year, the central bank intends to hike interest rates numerous times.

While some experts believed the Fed might opt for an aggressive half-point raise next week, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell allayed such fears during a recent congressional session.

He said a quarter-point rise would be best, and the markets already think that’s a good bet.

The Ukraine crisis complicated matters for the Fed, which must thread the needle between lowering prices and keeping the economy from collapsing.

Mortgage interest rates have already climbed to pre-pandemic norms in anticipation of the Fed’s liftoff date.

Gay Cororaton, the National Association of Realtors’ head of housing and commercial studies, recently warned mortgage rates might reach 4.5 percent by the end of the year, a significant increase in terms of home affordability.

On Thursday, the consumer price index will be updated. Economists predict inflation will rise from 7.5 percent to 7.9 percent in the fiscal year ending in February.

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