Inflation frustration continues as household bills are on the rise

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — Inflation frustration continues with high prices across the board.
A recent report shows that Americans spend a collective $3.5 trillion each year on household bills.

That’s more than $2,000 a month for the average person, up 4% year over year.

In Roanoke, people are seeing a much higher increase than the national average with prices up more than 6%.

Professor of Economics from Virginia Tech, Jadrian Wooten, says while broadly we may be seeing some wage increases to keep up with costs– it’s not an accurate representation of what a lot of people are facing.

“We’re not seeing wages change as fast as we would like them to change, some people are seeing really good pay increase, and some people are not seeing pay increases at all,” said Wooten.

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But wage increase or no wage increase– everyone is paying more just to live.

“It’s been really frustrating that sometimes it’s food that’s been driving it, sometimes it’s gas, sometimes it’s electricity, other times it’s shelter,” said Wooten.

In the Roanoke area, Wooten says people spend an average of nearly $30,000 per year on housing and groceries alone.

However, even those who are getting raises are finding that their dollar isn’t necessarily stretching as much as they hoped, according to the Dean of the Business School at the University of Lynchburg, Nancy Hubbard.

“People are getting hit with costs all around them, and even in their pay, they’re finding their benefits are more expensive,” said Hubbard.

Hubbard says this includes necessary costs like healthcare.

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She adds that one group of people is getting hit harder than others.

“Younger workers, that are renting or had to lock into interest rates that are significantly higher, are actually struggling a lot more,” said Hubbard.

Although it does fluctuate– both Wooten and Hubbard say that housing is the biggest expense for most people right now.

Hubbard adds that as long as inflation is an issue we aren’t going to see any interest rate cuts. However, Wooten did say that although we aren’t seeing prices go down, we are starting to see the inflation rate slow down just a little bit.

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