August’s disappointing, market-crashing inflation numbers provided consumers little relief when it comes to the cost of living. As energy cools, food is proving to be one of the most persistent and painful parts of inflation that families can’t avoid.
But how you perceive food inflation may be swayed by your personal politics. While a liberal and conservative will pay the same amount at the grocery store, the political divide is seeping into consumers’ perceived realities, according to a new study out of Purdue University.
“Not only are liberals severely underestimating the increase in food prices from last year, but conservatives’ expectations for inflation are also likely overstating its rate for the coming year –– at least compared to U.S. Department of Agriculture Predictions,” said Jayson Lusk, professor and head of the Agricultural Economics department.
Liberals perceive prices to be about 3-4% lower than conservatives, according to survey data. That is probably because while both sides of the aisle have the exact same data, the reactions are very different.
“We saw some welcome moderation in price for food at the grocery store, it’s moderating,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said after the August release.
Food prices in August went up 0.8%, which is the “smallest monthly increase” since December 2021, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. On Tuesday, President Joe Biden held a celebration touting the Inflation Reduction Act’s passage, declaring, “This bill cut costs for families.”
“How does Joe Biden have a celebratory speech as those numbers come out knowing that people are hurting?” GOP Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said on Fox News.
With midterm elections less than two months away, the political messaging is getting louder.
“The inflation we have today was made in Washington, it was made by the Biden administration, and the things that they have been doing are going to make it worse,” Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., said.