Vast Majority Of Americans Had Their Pocketbooks Devastated By Inflation In 2023, Study Finds

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Will Kessler Contributor
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Persistently high inflation led a large number of Americans to say that it had made them worse off in 2023, according to a survey conducted by the Federal Reserve.

Around 65% of Americans surveyed said that inflation had made their financial situation worse in 2023, while only 31% said that it had little to no effect, according to the Fed. Inflation has continued to remain elevated under President Joe Biden, most recently measuring 3.4% in April year-over-year, with prices rising 19.3% since January 2021. (RELATED: Inflation Under Biden Crushing Families On Food Stamps, Report Finds)

The share of people who said that they were doing at least “okay” financially declined slightly in 2023 to 72% compared to 73% the year before, but far lower than in 2021 when 78% of Americans said so, according to the survey. Just 34% of Americans said that their family’s monthly income increased in 2023, and 38% said their monthly spending increased.

Americans reported particularly sharp increases in the cost of housing over the last year, with the median monthly rent up 10% to $1,100 year-over-year, according to the survey. Around 19% of renters reported being behind on their payments at some point during the year.

The trend of Americans saving less money continued in 2023, with savings down substantially from highs seen during 2020 and 2021 and still under pandemic levels, according to the survey. The cumulative amount that Americans had saved reached an all-time high in April 2020 at nearly $6 trillion, but has declined substantially to just $671 billion as of March.

Americans surveyed were slightly more favorable toward their local economy in 2023, with 42% of adults rating it positively compared to 38% last year. Despite gains in 2023, the share of Americans who rated their local economy positively is still lower than the 63% in 2019.

Perceptions of the national economy have declined drastically under Biden following the COVID-19 pandemic, with just 22% of respondents saying that the economy was “good” or “excellent” compared to 50% in 2019, according to the survey.

The rate of inflation has declined since its high of 9% under Biden in June 2022, but has failed to recede below 3% since. Biden has sought to blame inflation on corporations marking up prices and decreasing product sizes, but a recent study by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco disproved this claim by showing that corporate markups following the COVID-19 pandemic were no different than other recent economic recoveries.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request to comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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