WASHINGTON (TND) — The cost of living for an average U.S. family has gone up an extra $276 a month, according to The Wall Street Journal. As inflation rises, the price of groceries, gasoline and cars is making up all those costs.
Overall household debt jumped by $1 trillion, the most since 2007, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Driving that debt in part are car and home loans, as car prices jumped up over 12%.
Low supply and high demand are driving up car prices, but shoppers are still driving off with new cars and higher loans.
“What's going on right now, there's an inventory shortage but there's also unprecedented consumer demand. So every car that any manufacturer can produce, it's gobbled up right away by consumers,” said Josh Stewart of Stewart Toyota in Florida.
The median home price is up nearly 20%.
“House prices have gone up by leaps and bounds,” said Bankrate’s Greg McBride. “Homeowners have more equity than they had before. So that's not necessarily a troublespot.”
Credit card balances increased by $52 billion in the fourth quarter of 2021, the largest quarterly increase ever recorded.
“As inflation is rising and continuing to squeeze household budgets, you're seeing more households having to lean against credit to bridge the gap,” said McBride.