Inflation cools, but more Americans are struggling

Inflation may be slowing down, but prices are still high and are likely to remain that way for the foreseeable future. While this may be considered good news for the economy, the reality is that Americans are still facing affordability challenges across a range of goods and services.

According to Mark Hamrick, a senior economic analyst at Bankrate, cooling inflation does not necessarily mean a significant reduction in prices. Elevated prices have persisted, making it difficult for many Americans to afford necessities like homes, vehicles, food, and utilities.

While the rate of price increases for food has subsided and gasoline prices have fallen, overall prices are only slowing their increase rather than actually dropping. This means that consumers are still seeing their monthly costs rise, especially for essential items.

A recent survey by New York Life found that 61% of Americans are spending more on groceries and dining out compared to a year ago, with costs rising an average of $209.45 a month. Additionally, 56% of adults are spending more on utilities and 48% are paying more in rent each month.

As a result of these rising costs, more consumers are facing financial strain and falling behind on their payments. Approximately 8.9% of credit card balances transitioned into delinquency over the last year, according to the New York Fed.

While the current situation may be challenging for many Americans, there is hope for improvement if prices continue to normalize and the job market remains stable. However, until then, consumers will likely continue to feel the impact of high prices on their everyday expenses.


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