Majority of Americans Report ‘Falling Behind’ Rising Cost Of Living

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By Casey Harper
The Center Square

The majority of Americans feel they are “falling behind” as the cost of living continues to rise, according to newly released polling.

The poll from NBC News asked, “Do you think that your family’s income is … going up faster than the cost of living, staying about even with the cost of living, or falling behind the cost of living?”

In response, 62 percent of those polled said “falling behind” while only 6 percent said their income is “going up faster” than the cost of living.

That poll comes as new inflation data released Thursday, March 31 showed another significant increase. The federal Bureau of Economic Analysis released data for the Personal Consumption Expenditure, a key inflation metric for the Federal Reserve, reporting the biggest increase in nearly 40 years.

“The PCE price index for February increased 6.4 percent from one year ago, reflecting increases in both goods and services …” the Bureau of Economic Analysis said. “Energy prices increased 25.7 percent while food prices increased 8.0 percent. Excluding food and energy, the PCE price index for February increased 5.4 percent from one year ago.”

Figures like these are at least part of the reason the Federal Reserve announced a 0.25 percent interest rate hike and said six more increases are on the way. The increase is meant to decrease inflation but can have a serious negative impact on the economy.

At the same time, mortgage rates have risen and are expected to continue to increase along with the Federal Reserve rate.

A recently released Emerson College national poll reports that the majority of Americans feel the pain of higher prices.

“Eighty-three percent (83%) of voters say they are experiencing some hardship due to increased prices on everyday items, with 40% reporting significant hardship, and another 43% reporting some hardship,” the March poll said. “Seventeen percent (17%) report experiencing no hardship. When asked about who they blame for an increase in gas prices, a plurality (39%) blame the Biden Administration, 21% blame the sanctions on Russia, and 18% blame gas and oil companies.”

Another recent poll found that many voters blame the Biden administration’s policies for rising prices.

“President Joe Biden’s policies have increased inflation, according to a majority of voters, who expect the issue to be important in November midterm elections,” Rasmussen Reports said in a recent poll. “The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 64% of Likely U.S. Voters believe the policies of Biden’s administration have increased inflation, while only eight percent (8%) think Biden’s policies have reduced inflation. Another 25% say the Biden administration’s policies have not made much difference in inflation.”


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