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What does lowest inflation in two years mean for average Americans?

Lower inflation has been driven by falling gas prices.
Posted at 11:49 AM, Jun 13, 2023

Driven by lower energy costs, inflation is now at 4%, according to data released Tuesday. It's the slowest rate of increase in two years. 

The new numbers come ahead of the Federal Reserve meeting this week on interest rates after imposing 10 straight interest rate hikes dating back to March 2022. 

Inflation climbed 4% through May, less than the 4.1 percent economists had expected. In April, inflation was up 4.9%.

The Consumer Price Index, which measures costs of goods and services, increased 0.1% in May. Gasoline prices fell 5.6% in May and rent prices were essentially flat with a 0.5% increase.

Gasoline and rent prices are key indicators of consumer confidence, said Kent Gardner, former chief economist at the Center for Governmental Research.

One of the economic issues that occurred during the pandemic is that people accumulated excess money from not traveling and with government assistance, thus causing inflation, Gardner explained.

While the Fed may be aiming at a 2% inflation rate, Gardner believes that privately, policymakers are encouraged by the current 4%.

For the average American, the rising cost of goods and services have become a part of post-pandemic life.

"Four percent is small enough that most people will shrug it up," Gardner said.

With high interest rates, does it make sense to buy that house now?

With high interest rates, does it make sense to buy that house now?

If a homeowner is in it for the long haul, refinancing when rates fall could be the answer.