Regardless of a slower rise in inflation, Americans are reporting that rising prices are causing financial hardship, a new poll shows.
Gallup released the poll data on Thursday, which found that 61% of respondents say price hikes have caused financial hardship, up from 49% in January last year. That 61% figure is a high point for Americans since Gallup started tracking data in 2021, when inflation was rising faster.
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“This may suggest that the cumulative effects of high prices over the past two years have weighed on consumers,” Gallup said.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics released its Consumer Price Index, a key indicator of inflation, earlier this month, which showed consumer prices rose 0.4% in April, contributing to a 4.9% increase over last year. This figure is about double what most economists consider a healthy level of inflation.
These price increases have made it harder for Americans to make ends meet. Energy and food prices have hit Americans particularly hard. BLS data showed food prices rose 7.7% over the past year.
A separate Gallup survey found that 35% of Americans consider inflation to be the most important financial problem facing their family.
“The cost of owning or renting a home (11%) ranks far behind inflation, while too much debt (9%) and a lack of money or low wages (7%) follow closely behind. “, said Gallup. “Energy costs, which were second only to inflation last year amid high gas prices, fell 5% as gas prices fell.”
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Gallup found that 15% say inflation-related difficulties are severe and 46% say they are moderate. Low-income Americans report suffering even more.
“Three-quarters of American adults with an annual household income of less than $40,000 currently say rising prices are causing them at least moderate hardship, including 29% who say it’s serious,” Gallup said. “Meanwhile, 65% of middle-income adults view inflation as a challenge, with 15% saying it is severe. Meanwhile, less than half of high-income adults, 45%, say price increases created difficulties for them.
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