Inflation costs American households 445 extra U.S. dollars a month, says analysis

2022-10-21 10:59:28Xinhua Editor : Xue Lingqiao ECNS App Download
A customer shops at a supermarket in Millbrae, California, the United States, Aug. 10, 2022. (Photo: Xinhua/Li Jianguo)

A customer shops at a supermarket in Millbrae, California, the United States, Aug. 10, 2022. (Photo: Xinhua/Li Jianguo)

Surging inflation caused ordinary American households to fork out 445 U.S. dollars more than a year ago, according to a recent analysis by the Moody's Analytics.

The company's senior economist, Ryan Sweet, calculated the figure after inflation reached 8.2 percent in September.

The U.S. Labor Department reported last week that the U.S. Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 0.4 percent in September, and surged 8.2 percent from a year ago, with core inflation soaring to four-decade high.

As part of its calculation, Moody's compared what average U.S. households spent in September to what they spent in 2018 and 2019, when inflation hovered around 2.1 percent.

Rampant inflation has impacted all U.S. economic sectors, with the price of groceries skyrocketing 13 percent in September.

Moreover, 24 percent of shoppers said they bought fewer items than usual in September, according to Morning Consult. Seventy-two percent of U.S. adults said they were very concerned about the rapidly rising cost of food.

The significant increase in the price of daily items is a cost many Americans can no longer afford, according to Jacob Channel, senior economist at LendingTree, as quoted in the New York Post.

"For many households, spending hundreds of extra dollars each month on the same basic necessities that they've always bought might not be possible and, as a result, some -- if they haven't already -- will likely have to resort to cutting back and reducing their standards of living," Channel told the Post.

According to the Federal Reserve's Beige Book released Wednesday, price growth in the United States remained elevated, though some easing was noted across several Districts.

Significant input price increases were reported in a variety of industries, though some declines in commodity, fuel, and freight costs were noted, the survey showed.

Growth in selling prices was mixed, with stronger increases reported by some Districts and a moderation seen in others, it said, adding that looking ahead, expectations were for price increases to generally moderate.

Since March, the U.S. Federal Reserve has lifted interest rates five times, including three consecutive 75-basis-point rate hikes in June, July and September, boosting benchmark interest rate to a range of 3-3.25 percent.

As it continued to ramp up its fight against surging inflation, the Fed signaled a more hawkish path ahead, and acknowledged that the process to get inflation under control could push up unemployment and inflict hardship on households and businesses.

Economists warn that Americans should brace for more pain as recession risks grow. According to the latest Bloomberg Economics model projections, a U.S. recession is effectively certain in the next 12 months. 


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