A survey from Country Financial finds that 88% of Americans are deeply concerned about inflation.
This comes as consumer prices soared to a more than 30-year record high in October, as measured by a 6.2% year-over-year change to the Consumer Price Index, a government measurement of how prices change over time.
The poll by Country Financial, conducted between Oct. 22 and 25, found that many Americans do plan to cut back their spending. Of the 1,031 adults ages 18 and up surveyed, 48% said they plan to reduce their spending on restaurant meals and takeout. Moreover, 30% said they plan to skip upgrading their personal technology devices, 29% said they will purchase less clothing, 20% are delaying or canceling travel plans and 13% plan to drive less.
Often, the amount people spend also tends to go up with inflation by default as prices rise, said Scott Jensen, manager of the financial planning support department at Country Financial. Consumers often try to offset higher prices by replacing the goods they purchase where they can by purchasing ground beef instead of a more expensive steak, for example.
But with current product shortages, that can be more difficult for consumers to do, Jensen said. “If I can’t substitute or I can’t have the freedom to choose, then I am more affected by price increases and what’s left,” Jensen added.
Consumer spending could also be increasing now as purchases that are being made now with the idea of beating higher prices or product shortages later. For those reasons, some experts have advised consumers to make their holiday purchases now. “If you can, start early but make a budget and stick to it,” said Ted Rossman, senior industry analyst for CreditCards.com.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: TIME.COM
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