Inflation Will Cost American Households an Additional $5,200 in 2022

According to Bloomberg Economics, skyrocketing inflation will cost American households an additional $5,200 in 2022, which breaks down to an added $433 a month. U.S. inflation reached a 40-year high this past January, accelerating to a 7.5% annual rate.

“Inflation will mean the average U.S. household has to spend an extra $5,200 this year ($433 per month) compared to last year for the same consumption basket,” wrote Bloomberg economists Andrew Husby and Anna Wong. The Bloomberg team predicted that “excess savings built up over the pandemic and increases in wages” will help to “cushion” the impact of such a dramatic increase. “But accelerated depletion of savings will increase the urgency for those staying on the sidelines to join the labor force, and the resulting increase in labor supply will likely dampen wage growth,” the team continued.

Inflation gauges, such as the Consumer Price Index — which measures what consumers pay for goods and services — have already recorded prices soaring at highest rate since 1982. This January’s rate of 7.5% topped December’s 7% annual rate, with both figures well above the 1.8% annual rate for inflation in 2019. Prices rose sharply for several everyday household items, including food, cars, housing and electricity. Housing rentals experienced a particularly sharp uptick, contributing to the increase.

Food prices are also skyrocketing globally and will continue to do so as a result of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) found that food prices in January reached record highs. This was according to the Food Price Index, which has increased by 20.7% since February 2020, according to the report, which was submitted before the conflict in Ukraine expanded.

Food and energy costs, which includes gasoline and home heating, account for $2,200 of 2022’s inflation, the Bloomberg Economics team said. This is set to hit low-income Americans the hardest. Such households have the least savings to cushion against rising prices, and wage growth is set to slow as the workforce continues to grow from pandemic lows. Even if a worker experienced a 10% growth in wages, food and energy inflation could completely offset the raise, the economists said.

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