So many families are finding making ends meet to be more challenging and unfortunately, it’s not going to get easier any time soon. Inflation rates have been up all year, but according to new data released, the annual inflation rate rose again in May. Here’s what you need to know
According to Bloomberg, the US inflation rate hit another 40-year high in May, rising to 8.6 percent after easing slightly in April. Experts had hoped the slight dip in April would mean we’ve seen the peak of inflation rates and price pressures would lower. But that’s not what happened.
Food prices were up more than 10 percent last month compared to May 2021, BBC News reports. And energy costs surged higher by 34 percent. In addition to the rising energy costs, unrelenting food and housing cost increases are putting the squeeze on the typical family’s budget.
"So much for the idea that inflation has peaked. Consumer prices blew past expectations - and not in a good way with the 8.6% annual increase the fastest in more than 40 years," Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at Bankrate.com, told BBC News. "Worse the increases were nearly ubiquitous. Just no place to hide."
American families are struggling with rising costs while safety nets that were given during the height of the pandemic are long gone. The Child Tax Credit —which ran from July 2021 to December 2021— lifted millions of families out of poverty, allowing parents to cover the cost of shelter, food, and other basic living costs.
Part of the American Rescue Plan, the Child Tax Credit allowed parents to receive an expanded and fully refundable tax credit in monthly payments with the second half of the payment sent as a lump sum when taxes were filed this year. That program ended in December, and now five months out, families are really feeling the effects. According to a small survey of 500 parents from Parents Together Action, parents who used to receive the Child Tax Credit now can’t afford enough food to feed their family.
“More than 90 percent said that they are finding it harder to make ends meet right now, and more than 60 percent are struggling to satisfy their families’ basic needs,” the report found, according to CNBC.
The survey — though limited — highlights how hard high inflation is hitting parents’ wallets. Families are struggling, and there’s no end to inflation in sight and no government support on the horizon.