The Bureau of Labor Statistics released data Tuesday, showing that inflation has hit a multi-decade high. The Consumer Price Index increased 8.5% in March from 12 months earlier, the biggest year-over-year increase since 1981.
"You are not thinking about the vacations anymore. You are thinking about just paying the bills and getting by," said John Solari, of Norwich.
According to the BLS, increases in the indexes for gasoline, shelter, and food contributed to the overall increase. Despite recent drops in Connecticut's gas prices, the BLS reported that the gasoline index rose 18.3% in March.
Brian Marks, a senior lecturer of economics and business analytics at the University of New Haven, said that the price hikes are driven by unrest in Ukraine along with supply and demand challenges. He said that the Federal Reserve will be closely watching the numbers.
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"Longer term, we can expect an increased risk of recession," said Marks. "That's the balancing act that needs to be undertaken. Not to step too much on the brakes, that would cause a recession, but soften things enough so we don't see this continued upward push pressure on prices."
In the meantime, consumers in Connecticut say they are feeling the ripple effects.
"Especially as a senior with a limited income that never changes," said Gerrie Dawson, of Colchester. Dawson said that she has needed to apply for fuel assistance. "And I am very careful about what I purchase."
People seeing assistance with food, housing, transportation, and other needs can visit 211 to learn more about resources in Connecticut.