Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to right sidebar Skip to footer

Inflation in center stage

By Karla Prudhomme
Freelance Writer

According to the U.S. Labor Department, the annual inflation rate for the United States is 7.5 percent for the 12 months ending January 2022 – the highest inflation rate since February 1982, according to the U.S. Labor Department.
High inflation lowers the value of the dollars’ purchasing power, increases loan interest rates, and decreases real returns on savings.
Real-life examples of inflation can be seen at the grocery store, at the gas pump, at the hardware or lumber store, when purchasing clothing and shoes, when purchasing a new or used automobile, and when purchasing virtually any goods or services.
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) measures the change in prices of goods and services over time and is used by the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics to measure these changes.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics, “while food prices rose 7 percent over the last year, energy prices rose over 27 percent, and fuel and used automobile prices rose 40 percent in the same twelve-month period.”
In the South region of the United States, Tennessee is included, overall inflation rose at the higher rate of 7.8 percent – .03 percent higher than the nation’s average inflation rate according to the U.S. Labor Department. With lagging cost of living wage increases for salaried or hourly workers, means less buying power each month.
Consumers have been feeling the pinch of higher prices, and with inflation being at a forty-year high, the ability to make ends meet has become more difficult.
According to Consumer Reports, a few steps can help meet the challenges caused by inflation. Keeping track of your cash flow with a monthly budget can help cut down on frivolous expenditures. Though saving may seem difficult at present, doing your best to tuck cash away for unexpected expenses can ease the overall stress that inflation causes. Stick to discount stores, purchase the less expensive store brand items, and look for sales before purchasing necessities. Before filling your gas tank, be sure to use a gas price app like ‘Gas Buddy’ to find the lowest gas prices in your area. Consider changing your cell phone service to a lower-cost service, reconsider the family entertainment and dining out expenditures, and adjust the thermostat to save on energy costs.
These steps may help families weather the rising inflation and allow them to hope for brighter days.