Consumer confidence plummets as inflation sends food, housing costs soaring

by ian

Inflation continues to wreak havoc on Americans, affecting everything from groceries to real estate.

New federal data shows food is now costing Americans over 11% of their disposable income. That’s the highest amount since 1991. According to Axios, “Food producers are facing higher costs for some products, and the tight labor market is also keeping labor costs high.”

In addition, home prices are breaking records. Prices hit an all-time high in December, marking the seventh straight month of record highs in 2023. According to the S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index, the cost of a single-family home rose 0.2% from November and 5.5% from December 2022.

As a result, consumer confidence declined in February for the second straight month. The Conference Board’s Expectations Index, which reflects consumers’ short-term outlook on the economy, fell well below 80 for the 11th time in the past year. It’s a bad sign as a score of 80 or lower typically signals a recession within the next 12 months.