The Balance Today: News You Need To Know on Dec. 28, 2022

Blast From the Past, With 1980s-Level Inflation

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Looking Back on 2022

If there was one phenomenon that impacted people’s finances in 2022, it was inflation. We’re paying a lot more for basic things these days than we did a year ago. Gas prices shot up quickly in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Prices have been up and down since then, but by the end of the year, they had returned to pre-invasion levels. 

Still, it’s worth keeping things in perspective—even at 2022 highs, gas was actually costlier in the past if you take inflation into account.

Gas wasn’t the only thing that saw rapid price hikes. The cost of food, especially groceries, rose dramatically, to the point where some people began to wonder whether it was worth cooking at home instead of eating out anymore. 

Inflation and higher interest rates also caused 38% of U.S. adults to delay major milestones such as buying a car or home this year, according to a survey by The Balance.

A bright side for all those price increases? Social Security benefits recipients got their biggest raise since the 1980s.

The second half of the year saw a gradual cooling of inflation as supply chain backlogs cleared and the Federal Reserve continued its aggressive campaign of anti-inflation interest rate hikes. Still, price increases remain well above the Fed’s 2% target.

If you’re tired of inflation draining your wallet, don’t worry—we might have seen the worst of it in 2022. Economists are predicting that inflation will go back to normal in 2023 and beyond.

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Sources
The Balance uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Consumer Price Index Summary."

  2. AAA. "Gas Prices."

  3. EconoFact. “Should We Suspend Gas Taxes to Counter High Oil Prices?

  4. The Senior Citizens League. "Press Brief, CPI - COLA Update."

  5. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "12-Month Percentage Change, Consumer Price Index, Selected Categories."

  6. Morningstar. "Why We Expect Inflation To Fall in 2023."

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