‘The era of free money, cheap debt & growth at any cost is over’…. ‘People are fighting inflation with debt they can’t afford’

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Fed’s Favorite Inflation Indicator Jumps Higher In July (4.2% YoY), Wage Growth Slowed

In July, US inflation measured by Core PCE Deflator rose to 4.2% YoY, and headline PCE reached 3.3% YoY, the highest since June 2022. Services inflation remained elevated, while Goods saw substantial deflation. Spending rose for the second month, but Personal Income growth slowed. Wage growth declined for both private and government workers. Adjusted for inflation, ‘real’ personal spending increased by 3.0% YoY. Real disposable income dropped by 0.2% MoM, the largest decline since June 2022. It appears the American consumer is completely tapped out – consumer credit has flatlined (maxx’d out) and now savings are plunging again.

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Inflation Is Still Squeezing Budgets – 61% of Americans Are Living Paycheck to Paycheck

Despite slight relief in inflation, 61% of adults are still living paycheck to paycheck as of July, an increase from last year. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell expressed concern over persistent high inflation and hinted at more interest rate hikes. Central bank officials have already raised rates 11 times, impacting consumers’ spending habits. Lower-income workers, hit hardest by rising prices, are struggling to make ends meet. Around 70% of Americans are stressed about finances due to inflation, rising interest rates, and lack of savings. Only 45% have an emergency fund, with 26% having less than $5,000 saved.

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