Cost Of Living Outpaces Wage Increases

Powell Fed Got Inflation Wrong Nov 2021

A recent study by Achieve revealed that despite a 37% increase in income, many Americans are facing financial challenges due to rising costs and high interest rates, leading to a surge in personal debt. The average monthly participation in debt resolution programs increased by 119% in the first nine months of 2023 compared to 2020. Wages are rising but they simply cannot keep up with the growing cost of living.

The typical household income of individuals enrolled in debt resolution programs was $59,900 in 2023, a notable increase from $43,598 three years prior. The study’s findings reflect the impact of inflation, a challenging interest rate environment, and the winding down of government stimulus on consumer debt levels. The report underscores the need for measures to address the rising debt burden and its potential impact on income growth.

The study also found that people are facing financial hardship significantly earlier in life. The average age of someone facing debt resolution was 52 in 2020, but that age has since decreased to 44 in 2023. Nearly 40% of people entering debt resolution programs are Millennials, which is also the age demographic of those with the sharpest increase of credit card delinquencies. Nearly everyone is living on credit as balances rose $154 billion YoY, marking the most significant increase since 1999.

No one feels relieves when new inflation reports are released. Governments can release whatever data they like but the fact remains that the price of EVERYTHING has become too much to maintain. Inflation allegedly peaked in June 2022 at 9.1% but I cannot think of anything that has dramatically decreased in price since then.

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