WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The rising costs for food, gas, rent and other necessities continue to put financial pressures on American households.
Inflation numbers are at record levels over the last year, jumping 7 percent in the last year. That figure is the highest it’s been in 40 years, according to numbers released Wednesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The price of gasoline had the highest increase in the last year, a nearly 50 percent spike.
Is the ongoing inflation crisis a result of the pandemic or is there more driving up the cost to live?
"I live day to day, man, whatever I have to do to make it to the next day," said West Palm Beach resident Anthony Cuillo.
Cuillo is trying to prepare for retirement but inflation is making that difficult.
"You have to downsize what you're doing if you want to keep maintaining that ability to save," Cuillo said.
The latest data from the Consumer Price Index shows that over the last year energy costs are up 30 percent while food prices up 6.5 percent.
The price of used cars prices has increased 37 percent in the last year.
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"Over the past two years, we've increased the money supply by over 40 percent," said Chris Markowski, the financial expert and founder of Markowski Investments.
Simply put, inflation is the loss of a currency's value.
"We continue to print more and more money. That's the reality," Markowski said.
He believes there are other contributing factors causing the prices increases.
“You throw in some other aspects, as well with supply chain concerns and tightening labor markets. This is where we’ve got to the point we are today," Markowski said.
Judith Rios of West Palm Beach said inflation is depleting her savings.
"I'm probably going to have to get a part-time job or do something to try to balance off some of my expenses so that I can continue my savings," Rios said.
Markowski said lower- and middle-income families have been hit the hardest by these issues.
Some experts believe this price hike will stabilize, but how and when are the big questions.