The battle against inflation is not over.
Yet, recent releases show that, at least compared with the soaring inflation of a year ago, consumers who have been squeezed by higher prices should be experiencing some relief. June and July both saw easing in the pace of price increases, with core inflation up 0.2% for each month, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Inflation ‘remains too high’
Central bank officials have already raised rates 11 times, pushing the Fed’s key interest rate to a target range of 5.25% to 5.5%, the highest level in more than 22 years.
Already, four out of five consumers’ spending habits have been affected by inflation, according to TD Bank’s annual consumer spending index.
“Consumers are undoubtedly continuing to feel the impact of inflation and rising interest rates,” said Chris Fred, TD Bank’s head of credit cards and unsecured lending.
Now, 78% of consumers earning less than $50,000 a year and 65% of those earning between $50,000 and $100,000 were living paycheck to paycheck in July, both up from a year ago, LendingClub found. Of those earning $100,000 or more, only 44% reported living paycheck to paycheck.