Low- and middle-income earners stand to take the brunt of inflation—here's what that really means

Low- and middle-income earners stand to take the brunt of inflation—here’s what that really means

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1/25/2022 2:11:00 PM

Low- and middle-income earners stand to take the brunt of inflation—here’s what that really means

The categories with the greatest price increases over the past year are the things lower-income households spend most of their income on.

It’s those with the lowest incomes, the working poor and even middle earners who stand to take the brunt of inflation. These segments are less likely to have savings to fall back on, often have to spend more than they earn just to get by, and are spending a greater portion of their incomes on essentials like food and shelter than higher earners.

While the average personal savings rate peaked during the pandemic, the lowest earners depleted those savings more quickly. Low-income households still had 70% more in their bank accounts in September 2021 than they did before the first round of pandemic-related stimulus payments, but that amounted to only a $1,000 surplus, according to data from JPMorgan Chase Institute. That surplus represents just one month of the typical rent and utilities, according to 2019 census data, when three to six months’ worth of basic living expenses is considered a robust emergency fund.

Read more: MarketWatch »

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