Americans’ Strategy To Deal With Inflation: Buy Less Food

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More Americans are cutting back on the amount of groceries they buy in an effort to save money as food costs mount, according to a survey by business analytics firm Morning Consult.

In October 2021, 15% of all grocery shoppers reported “often” purchasing fewer items to keep costs down, compared to 24% of shoppers in September 2022, Morning Consult reported Monday. While this proportion is greatest among those making less than $50,000, rising to 27% from 16% last year, 21% of those making between $50,000 and $99,999 reported often buying fewer items, up from 15% last year, while the share of those making $100,000 or more who reported cutting back rose to 19% from 13%. (RELATED: Food Prices Skyrocketed In September)

“The unrelenting price increases are forcing shoppers to evaluate their spending, with many buying only those items they deem necessary for a given trip,” said analyst Emily Moquin in the report. “On the plus side, reduced demand from consumers limiting their purchases should eventually rein in rising prices.”

Several key inflationary metrics, including the Consumer Price Index (CPI), Produce Price Index (PPI) and the Federal Reserve’s preferred metric, the Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) price index, all came in higher than investors’ expectations in September. The cost of groceries grew 0.8% on a monthly basis compared to August, and 13.0% yearly basis according to the CPI, which is calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

A survey of economists by The Wall Street Journal found that 63% of those surveyed anticipated a recession within the next 12 months, the first time since July 2020 that the number surpassed 50%, the outlet reported Sunday. Predictive models by Bloomberg economists Anna Wong and Eliza Winger forecasted the chance of a recession by October 2023 at 100%, a much stronger estimate than a Bloomberg survey of economists, which estimated a 60% chance.

More than 90% of CEOs at large American companies, defined as those with more than $500 million in annual revenue, are anticipating a recession in the next 12 months, according to a survey conducted by accounting firm KPMG. The pressure is prompting more than half of the 1,325 CEOs surveyed to consider layoffs.

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