Inflation causing financial pain for most Americans

grocery shopping concerned about rising food prices
Photo credit Getty Images

Everything from groceries and clothing to rent and medical services costs more these days -- and it hurts. Inflation is downright inflicting financial pain on a majority of Americans.

A new Gallup survey shows that 56% of households are now feeling the sting of price increases, which is up from 49% in January and 45% in November.

The latest figure includes 12% of Americans who described the pain as "severe" and 44% who called it "moderate."

"Lower-income Americans were mainly affected early on, but most middle-income Americans and a substantial minority of upper-income Americans are now feeling the strain of higher prices," the study states.

Reports of financial hardship also differ by partisanship. Republicans (67%) are far more likely than Democrats (44%) to say rising prices are hurting their families. Independents fall between the party groups, at 56%.

"These party differences are consistent with Republicans' being more likely to mention inflation as the most important problem and to rate the economy more negatively than Democrats and independents do, likely because of the presence of a Democratic president in the White House," the study notes.

To address the hardship inflation is causing, `1 in 4 Americans are making sacrifices by buying less and cutting back on discretionary spending, according to the poll. Another 17% are traveling less or canceling vacations, while the same percentage indicate they are driving less or trying to use less gas.

Other common strategies for dealing with higher prices include buying cheaper goods or generic brands of products (12%), eating out less (10%), buying fewer groceries or growing their own food (10%), staying home (8%), and cutting down on entertainment expenses (8%).

"Adults of different income levels are about equally likely to report taking the most commonly mentioned actions," the survey says. "However, upper-income people are more likely than lower-income people to say they have cut back on travel and eating out, perhaps because they are more likely to do those activities under normal circumstances."

Some have also resorted to more significant measures such as finding a second job, incurring debt, postponing medical care or applying for assistance. Others are downsizing or selling things they own, using savings, or using credit cards and loans, according to the poll.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Getty Images