STATE – Nearly two-thirds of New Jersey residents are “very concerned” about price inflation, according to a quarterly consumer survey by Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Silberman College of Business.
Three-quarters of those in households with incomes under $50,000 are “very concerned,” compared to 38% in households with incomes over $150,000.
“Consumers have started to feel the price increase in grocery stores and at the gas pump said,” Sorin Tuluca, professor of finance at the Silberman College of Business. “And people with smaller incomes will feel the increases first and hardest.”
Tuluca also said that “while higher prices look like a trend toward inflation, there are signs that it might be a temporary imbalance in the global demand and supply for food stuff and oil. Still, the consumer has reason to worry.”
According to the survey, 26% of New Jerseyans say they are better off financially than they were a year ago, better than this time last year, but essentially flat compared to the last quarter. At the same time, 45% say they are worse off financially, only a little improved from 48% in January.
While 27% report an increase in their household income over the past year, 69% say their income has stayed the same or declined. Households making above $100,000 were more likely to report an increase in their income over the past year.
“Every recession tends to take everyone down together,” said Tuluca, “but every recovery doesn’t take everyone up at the same time.”
Other findings of the study:
- One in three workers are “somewhat worried” or “very worried” that they might lose their job this coming year.
- 46% report that they could live off their savings for more than six months if they were to lose their jobs — a decline from 51% a year ago.
The telephone survey of 610 randomly selected adults throughout New Jersey who participate in their household’s financial decisions is sponsored by the Silberman College of Business at Fairleigh Dickinson University, and was conducted by Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind from March 29 through April 4, and has a margin of error of +/- 4% percentage points.
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