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Nearly Half of Americans Cutting Back on Purchases Due to Inflation, Survey Finds

  • Bankrate survey finds that nearly half of Americans are reducing or delaying their purchases in response to inflation
  • About two-thirds of respondents said inflation has negatively affected their personal situation
  • Respondents were most likely to notice higher prices in groceries, gas, and dining out

Summary by Dirk Langeveld

About four out of five Americans have adjusted their financial actions due to inflation, with nearly half saying they’ve been cutting back on purchases this year due to higher costs.

The Bankrate poll of 2,420 adults determined that 89 percent had experienced price increases since the start of the year, with two-thirds saying they had negatively affected their personal financial situation. Forty-seven percent said they were reducing their purchases, while 45 percent were delaying them. Other responses included researching options to save money on purchases (38 percent), dipping into their savings (22 percent), adding to their debt (20 percent), or actively trying to increase their income (19 percent).

Respondents were most likely to notice higher food prices, with 71 percent saying they had experienced more expensive grocery costs and 46 percent saying it was costlier to dine out. Sixty-seven percent said they were spending more on gas.

  • 21 percent said they hadn’t been affected by higher prices, while 13 percent said they were having a positive impact
  • 71 percent of middle-income households (earning $40,000 to $79,999) said inflation had negatively affected their finances, compared to 64 percent of higher income households and 58 percent of lower income households
  • About one in five respondents said they had experienced an additional fee this year for using a credit card, with the same share seeing a COVID-19 fee to cover expenses such as enhanced cleaning or personal protective equipment
  • Millennials and Gen Z respondents were less likely than baby boomers and Gen Xers to experience price increases or report a negative impact from them
  • The study suggests that older respondents are more concerned about costs, especially retirees living off their savings, while younger respondents are experiencing higher earnings and building up long-term investments
  • Inflation has been proceeding at the fastest rate in a decade, but Federal Reserve officials expect it will be transitory

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