Press Briefing 6.13.23
Inflation At Lowest Point Since March 2021 — Social Security COLA for 2024 Could Be 2.7 %
New consumer price data indicates that inflation is at its lowest level since March 2021. That was the start of our recent 40-year storm of two back-to-back years of historically high consumer prices. The Senior Citizens League now estimates that the Social Security cost of living adjustment (COLA) 2024 could be 2.7 percent.
Inflation continues to slow. The Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W), the index that is used to determine the COLA, was up 3.6 percent year over year, the lowest level since March of 2021, when it was 3.0 percent. The average monthly rate of inflation continues to trend downward.
According to an ongoing survey by The Senior Citizens League, older consumers are reporting little improvement in their household spending yet. While the inflation rate has slowed, prices have remained high in certain essential spending categories. Sixty-two percent of survey participants report food costs as their fastest-growing cost. Housing costs are the biggest concern of 22 percent of survey respondents. The survey has 2,275 respondents through June 6, 2023.
Since January of this year, the actual inflation rate, as measured by the CPI-W, was lower than the amount older Americans received in their 8.7% COLAs. That difference theoretically should provide a modest temporary improvement in buying power of roughly $52 per month for a retiree with average benefits of $1,694.00. Inflation, however, was so severe in 2021 and 2022 that the average Social Security benefit fell behind by $1,054, leaving 53 percent of retirees doubting they will recover because household costs rose more than the dollar amount of their COLAs.