Nearly nine in 10 Americans say they are hunting for bargains and cutting back on purchases due to inflation, The Washington Post reports.
Inflation, which is near four-decade highs, has caused prices to go up an average of 8.3% over the last year, with even bigger hikes on gas and housing.
Nearly 90% of Americans say they’ve started searching for cheaper alternatives to products and about three-quarters say they are putting off planned purchases and cutting back on restaurants and entertainment, according to a poll by the Post and George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government.
“We’re cutting back on everything — and I mean everything,” Kentucky resident Bethany Davis told the Post. “Gas, meat, bread, it’s all expensive as hell. One moment you think you can afford to buy something, then you go to the store and it’s like, ‘Nope, can’t get that anymore either.’”
More to come?
Though the Biden administration and the Federal Reserve have taken steps to try to cool inflation, about 66% of respondents say they expect inflation to get worse compared to just 21% who expect price hikes to slow.
About 60% of Americans say they’ve started driving less and minimizing their energy use.
Some Americans are stocking up.
Nearly 30% say they’ve taken a second job or worked more hours as a result of inflation.
Inflation response can worsen inflation:
About half of respondents say they are trying to buy products before prices go up even further.
Some economists worry that could make inflation even worse.
“People’s expectations of inflation are rising,” John Taylor, an economist at Stanford University and a former Treasury Department, told the Post. “The concern I have is that if people are saying, ‘Inflation is picking up, let’s buy now,’ that increases inflation even more.”
“We’ve all noticed prices going up in the past year,” added Antonio Doblas-Madrid, an economics professor at Michigan State University. “People are looking at that and expecting it to continue, which can be a worrisome sign.”