Has inflation peaked? Credit card giant says yes, but consumers not so sure

DeJuan Hoggard Image
Tuesday, December 13, 2022
Has inflation peaked? Credit card giant says yes, consumers not sure
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According to Mastercard, inflation has peaked but will remain above pre-pandemic levels in 2023. Fed Reserve Chair Jerome Powell is poised to raise interest rates again perhaps

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- While Americans are wrapping up holiday spending and noticing prices for consumer goods remain high, credit card company Mastercard said inflation has peaked.

"Inflation has seen its peak this year, but it will still be above what we had been used to pre-pandemic next year," said chief economist David Mann.

Mann said inflation levels in 2023 will remain high and will not reach pre-pandemic levels until 2019.

"I don't believe it," said Connie McLain of Raleigh. "I don't believe the economy is particularly stable."

The news comes amid months of interest-rate hikes by the US Federal Reserve and the likelihood of rates rising again during its December policy meeting later this week.

"I'm sure it doesn't really feel a whole lot different," said Duke University economist Dr. Connel Fullenkamp. "If we look at a lot of different components of inflation...stuff we buy at the grocery store is still going up and going up in price quickly."

McLain surely notices.

"I've gotten in the habit of going to the cheap (grocery) stores first and the classier stores second and kind of taking it that way," she said as she split her Monday shopping between Harris Teeter and Aldi's.

Fullenkamp encourages consumers to weigh the context behind Mastercard's statement.

"It's really a mixed bag, and it depends a lot where you're spending your money these days," he said.

Prices of food, non-food consumer goods, home prices, and other items continue to see high costs.

"As always, in a high inflation environment, you've got to be a much more (savvy) shopper than you used to be," added Fullenkamp.

He also said he believes, and others have followed the same school of thought, that the Triangle will continue to be in "good shape" to weather economic uncertainties and the like given the presence of Research Triangle Park, major universities, and business sectors that continue to perform well.