More than half of Americans are dipping into their savings, borrowing money or going into debt just to cover their expenses, according to data from the National Retail Federation(NRF).
Consumers are facing a rise in costs across all categories from everyday goods to groceries and gas “as we continue to face the highest rate of inflation in decades,” according to the nation’s largest retail trade group.
In a recent survey conducted by the NRF, 47% of consumers said they have been switching to cheaper alternatives when looking for household necessities as they try and navigate the challenging economic environment.
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Just under half of those surveyed, 45% of consumers, are looking for coupons or sales more often for these items.
Meanwhile, 41% of consumers are shopping at discount stores to find these everyday necessities.
The data also showed that 40% of consumers reported that they were cutting back in other areas in order to afford these necessities.
Still, even with these cutbacks, the survey revealed that 58% of consumers are still having to go into debt, borrow money or use their savings to cover their expenses. About 72% of consumers in the lowest income category, earning less than $25,000 a year, are in the same boat, according to the data.
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Only 40% of consumers say they earn enough to afford their expenses as inflation continues to outpace wage growth. Meanwhile, only 24% of consumers in the lowest income category say they can afford expenses.
“It is not sustainable,” NRF CEO Matthew Shay said in a statement. Shay said removing China tariffs “is the fastest way to alleviate some of the inflationary pressure in the US economy.”
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According to Shay, these tariffs have driven up prices for American consumers and are costing the average family over $1,200 a year.