What Do Rising Interest Rates and Inflation Mean for Me?

Fueled by higher rent, gas, and food prices, the cost of living grew 1% in May, pushing the U.S. inflation rate to a 40-year high of 8.6%. The core-rate of inflation, which omits food and energy and is viewed as a more accurate measure of price trends by the Federal Reserve, increased 0.6%. However, the increase in the core rate over the past year slowed to 6% from 6.2%.

How Will You Be Impacted?
We’re already seeing the obvious effects. Costs for basic necessities like gas, food, and rent prices are increasing. It seems every time we go to the pump or the grocery store, we’re paying a little more. Recently, the same price increases of goods have trickled over to services as costs for things like airline fare, medical care, and auto insurance are rising.

Many of these price increases can be attributed to a few main industries. Rising food and energy prices are increasing the cost of doing business for many companies like restaurants, grocery stores, airlines, fertilizer producers, etc. When the costs for important items used across multiple industries rise, profit margins get smaller, and companies raise prices for consumers to alleviate their cost increases.

The Federal Reserve has raised its target borrowing rate by 1.75% in the last three months after announcing a .75% increase last week, the most aggressive hike since 1994. This marks a significant increase since March (0%). Though they are doing everything possible to prevent a recession, many economists are predicting one is inevitable if we continue at this pace.

What This Means
The most important thing that people should understand is that recessions are a part of the economic cycle. Recessions happen, we’ve lived through them before. Historically, Williamson County has been the last one in and the first one out when a recession occurs. We’ve lived for many years with inflation and high rates, and our economy continued to remain strong.

Though we are not currently in a recession, there is one simple thing you can do to help your family, friends, and fellow Williamson County residents during this turbulent economic time – SHOP LOCAL. When you shop local, you stimulate the LOCAL economy. This helps your local small businesses (aka your friends and neighbors) continue to operate. Not only that, but it helps them keep generating revenue and not fall on hard times, which helps local consumers (aka you) by keeping prices steady.

Moving Forward
Let’s remember, Williamson County has weathered the storm in similar situations previously, and there is no reason to believe this will be any different. However, to keep our local economy here strong this time around, we must work together by supporting one another. Shop local, spend local, and support small businesses here in Williamson County.

For a complete list of local small businesses, visit the Business Directory at Williamson, Inc.

The opinions expressed in the Blog are for general informational purposes only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual or on any specific security or investment product. It is only intended to provide education about the financial industry. The views reflected in the commentary are subject to change at any time without notice.