Two Years Of Joe Biden’s Inflation Leaves Americans With ‘Shrinking Savings And Rising Debt’

March Marked Almost Two Full Years Of Year-Over-Year Inflation Rising 5% Or More, With Overall Prices Increasing 15% Since President Biden Took Office, Resulting In American Families Struggling To Keep Up With Rising Costs And Most Feeling Stressed About Their Financial Situation And Pessimistic About The U.S. Economy


Year-Over-Year Inflation Has Been At Least 5% For Nearly Two Full Years Of Joe Biden’s Presidency

March marked the TWENTY-THIRD consecutive month in which inflation rose at least 5 percent year-over-year. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed 4/12/2023)

Prior to 2021, year-over-year monthly inflation had not been as high as it was in March 2023 since 1982. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed 4/12/2023)

The Cumulative Effect Of Inflation Since President Biden Took Office Has Americans Paying Significantly Higher Prices For Food, Energy, Transportation, Housing, And More

Since President Biden took office, inflation has increased 15.4%. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed 4/12/2023)

Meanwhile, Americans Continue Giving Up More Of Their Paychecks To Inflation, With Year-On-Year Real Average Weekly Earnings Decreasing 1.6%

“Real average hourly earnings decreased 0.7 percent, seasonally adjusted, from March 2022 to March 2023. The change in real average hourly earnings combined with a decrease of 0.9 percent in the average workweek resulted in a 1.6-percent decrease in real average weekly earnings over this period.” (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Press Release, Accessed 4/12/2023)


Prices Rose Yet Again In March ‘At A Faster Than Normal Pace’ And ‘Core Inflation … Has Stayed Stubbornly High In Part Because Of Inflationary Pressures From Shelter Costs’

“New data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics released Wednesday showed that prices rose 5 percent in the year ending in March … Compared to February prices, March prices rose 0.1 percent.” (The Washington Post, 4/12/2023)

  • “Core prices, a measure of underlying inflation that excludes volatile energy and food categories, increased 5.6% in March from a year earlier, accelerating slightly from 5.5% the prior month. Core inflation, which economists see as a better predictor of future inflation, has stayed stubbornly high in part because of inflationary pressures from shelter costs.” (The Wall Street Journal, 4/12/2023)

“[P]rices continued to rise — especially housing costs — at a faster than normal pace.” (The Washington Post, 4/12/2023)

  • “Housing costs were by far the largest contributor to the monthly price increase in March … Car insurance (up 1.2 percent), airfares (4 percent), household furnishings (0.4 percent) and new vehicles (0.4 percent) all saw increases in March.” (The Washington Post, 4/12/2023)
  • “The average gallon of gas in the United States cost $3.62 on Wednesday, according to AAA, and some analysts expect that if demand picks up over the summer, drivers could see prices at the pump pass $4 again later this year.” (The Washington Post, 4/12/2023)
  • “In the auto sector, wholesale used cars prices have risen more than expected this year. That has car experts bracing for a larger rise in retail prices, since dealers who are paying more for cars at auction will pass higher prices onto consumers.” (The Washington Post, 4/12/2023)


‘Inflation Is Weighing On Household Spending Decisions’ As Americans ‘Have Been Whittling Down Their Savings And Taking On Increasing Amounts Of Debt’

“[E]levated inflation is weighing on household spending decisions.” (The Wall Street Journal, 4/12/2023)

“U.S. households have been whittling down their savings and taking on increasing amounts of debt, putting many in a weaker position to weather an economic downturn that has grown all the more likely following recent turmoil in the banking industry.” (“Shrinking Savings And Rising Debt Leave Consumers On Shaky Financial Footing,” NBC News¸ 3/18/2023)

  • “[T]he percentage of people’s paycheck going into savings has fallen to about half of what it was prior to the pandemic, according to data from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.  Meanwhile, the amount of debt Americans are carrying has soared. Credit card balances increased by $61 billion to a record high of $986 billion in the last quarter of 2022 — a rapid reversal from two years ago … according to data from New York Federal Reserve. Auto loan balances rose by $94 billion.” (“Shrinking Savings And Rising Debt Leave Consumers On Shaky Financial Footing,” NBC News, 3/18/2023)
  • “There are signs that a growing number of consumers have been having a harder time paying down that debt. The percentage of credit card holders carrying debt from month to month has increased to 46%, up from 39% a year ago, according to Bankrate. Auto loan delinquencies have been steadily rising from their pandemic lows with the share of auto loans at least 60 days overdue at its highest level since 2006, according to a report [in February] from Cox Automotive.” (“Shrinking Savings And Rising Debt Leave Consumers On Shaky Financial Footing,” NBC News, 3/18/2023)


Nearly 60% Of Americans Say They Are Living Paycheck To Paycheck And 70% Are Stressed Over Their Financial Situation

“Between higher costs and a possible recession on the horizon, families feel increasingly strained financially. More than half, or 58%, of all Americans are now living paycheck to paycheck, according to the CNBC Your Money Financial Confidence Survey, conducted in partnership with Momentive. And even more — roughly 70% — said they feel stressed about their finances, mostly due to inflation, economic uncertainty and rising interest rates, the survey found.” (“With Inflation Stubbornly High, 58% Of Americans Are Living Paycheck To Paycheck: CNBC Survey,” CNBC, 4/11/2023)

“Inflation, economic instability and a lack of savings have an increasing number of Americans feeling financially stressed. Some 70% of Americans admit to being stressed about their personal finances these days and a majority — 52% — of U.S. adults said their financial stress has increased since before the Covid-19 pandemic began in March 2020, according to a new CNBC Your Money Financial Confidence Survey conducted in partnership with Momentive.” (“70% Of Americans Are Feeling Financially Stressed, New CNBC Survey Finds,” CNBC, 4/11/2023)

“The cost of the basic household expenses — rent, groceries and utilities — are all higher than a year ago, weakening consumers’ purchasing power. Nearly 60% of respondents cited inflation as the main contributor to their financial stress, followed by economy-wide instability (43%), rising interest rates (36%) and a lack of savings (35%), according to the survey of 4,336 adults, which was conducted at the end of March.” (“70% Of Americans Are Feeling Financially Stressed, New CNBC Survey Finds,” CNBC, 4/11/2023)


No Wonder ‘The American Public Continues To Rate The U.S. Economy In Mostly Negative Terms’

“The American public continues to rate the U.S. economy in mostly negative terms in March, with 83% describing current economic conditions as ‘only fair’ or ‘poor.’ Just 16% consider them ‘excellent’ or ‘good.’ Furthermore, 72% think conditions are getting worse, while 23% say they are improving.” (“Economic Pessimism Persists, With Inflation Still Key Concern,” Gallup, 3/31/2023)




Related Issues: Economy, Inflation