Inflation is squeezing the pockets of Americans, particularly those who can least afford it. Nearly half of all U.S. households have suffered financial hardship because of rising prices, according to a new poll.
Between November 3 and 16, Gallup asked 1,598 adults if recent price increases caused them any financial hardship. The survey found that 45% of Americans said they suffered hardship due to inflation. There were 10% who said the financial adversity they experienced was "severe" – meaning "hardship that affects your ability to maintain your current standard of living."
Those who make less than $40,000 in annual income were 71% more likely to experience financial hardship. In contrast, only 29% of those who have an annual salary of $100,000 or more have encountered financial hardships due to inflation.
Based on political lines, 53% of Republicans have endured financial hardship from higher prices, 49% of independents, and 37% of Democrats.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the Consumer Price Index for October spiked by 6.2% over the last year – the largest increase in prices for consumer goods recorded in more than 30 years.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) reported on Thursday that global food prices are at their highest level since June 2011. Prices of commonly traded food commodities were 27.3% higher in November than at this same time last year.
Rabobank – a Dutch multinational banking and financial services company – warns there likely won't be any relief in high food prices in 2022.
Bloomberg reported, "Food prices are likely to stay near record highs next year due to consumers stocking up, high energy and shipping prices, adverse weather and a strong dollar, according to Rabobank."
On Monday, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said it's "probably a good time" to end calling inflation "transitory."
On Thursday, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen echoed Powell by saying, "I'm ready to retire the word transitory. I can agree that that hasn't been an apt description of what we're dealing with."
In July, President Joe Biden said, "We’ve seen some price increases. Some folks have raised worries that this could be a sign of persistent inflation. But that’s not our view. Our experts believe and the data shows that most of the price increases we’ve seen are — were expected and expected to be temporary."