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'It's hard to deal with': Inflation nears 40-year high

Posted at 8:24 PM, Dec 17, 2021
and last updated 2022-01-14 13:24:51-05

DETROIT (WXYZ) — Across metro Detroit, families are experiencing the impacts of their money simply not going as far as it used to.

Johnettia Jackson, a single mother of four, knows the true meaning of making ends meet on a limited budget. She says the trend of rising prices is taking a huge toll.

“At the gas stations, grocery stores, at the dollar stores,” Jackson said.

Her children, ages 2, 8, 13 and 15, are what matter most in her life. Jackson is often forced to make financial decisions that have become tougher and tougher.

“Just to get through a week is like $300. A year ago, it was $150 … prices went through the roof and I have growing boys — really,” Jackson said with a laugh as she talked about her kids.

From the pump to the grocery shelves, millions of Americans can recall their dollar simply stretching much further.

“The key thing with inflation is it adds uncertainty,” economics professor at Oakland University Jonathan Silberman said.

Silberman points to the pandemic as playing a huge role along with more stimulus from the federal government being pumped into the economy.

“The policy response to the pandemic, $1.5 trillion that Congress approved shortly after Biden became president,” Silberman said.

He says another factor driving inflation is the federal interest rate that’s near 0%.

“I would expect that the federal reserve will be raising interest rates in 2022… minimum two rate increases,” Silberman said.

It’s all intended to bring down the annual rate of inflation of 6.2% in October, leading to prices increasing at the highest rate in the U.S. in more than 30 years, according to the Pew Research Center.

In the meantime, Jackson is pursuing a higher education and a better paying opportunity.

“I’m part time home care… and part time at WCCC for my associates in science degree,” Jackson said. “We have to stretch every dime we get. It’s hard to deal with. Overall, we aren’t getting much for our buck anymore.”

Silberman also expects the housing market to slow once interest rates increase. But for now with holidays approaching, many families are simply just looking forward to prices dropping.