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Impact of Inflation on Black Americans

WHEREAS, The U.S. Inflation Rate is defined as the percentage in which a chosen basket of goods and services purchased in the U.S. increases in price over a year; and

WHEREAS, Over the last year, we have seen inflation rates soar. U.S. Inflation Rate is at 4.98%, compared to 6.04% last month and 8.54% last year. This is higher than the long-term average rate of 3.28%; and

WHEREAS, High inflation rates for everyday necessities like shelter and food have risen sharply. Shelter has increased by 30% and food prices have increased by 8.5% making it especially challenging for the majority of individuals and families; and

WHEREAS, Black adults report facing more serious issues across several areas compared to white Americans — notably, they are more likely than whites to report not having enough emergency savings to cover at least one month of their expenses (58% to 36%) and having serious problems affording food (32% vs. 21%); and

WHEREAS, It has been noted by the Federal Reserve that the typical Black family has $1,500 in liquid savings whereas the typical white family has more than five times that amount. The typical Black family also does not have enough savings to avoid costly borrowing or missed payments when unexpected events arise, which makes them especially vulnerable to inflation volatility; and

WHEREAS, The increase in interest rates to stabilize inflation makes it harder for first-time homebuyers to purchase a home, which deprives families from having the ability to build generational wealth; and

WHEREAS, This inflationary outbreak has imposed severe financial hardships for individuals and families. As interest rates and prices rise and income remains stagnant this all leads to extreme financial hardship.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP will engage with the Federal Reserve with respect to equity and the impact of inflation in the Black community to ensure that careful consideration is taken when increasing interest rates as they impact harshly upon low-to- medium income households. Also, to advocate for policies with the Federal Reserve to lessen inflationary pressures in the economy that contribute to higher inflation rates.

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, the NAACP will work alongside financial institutions to engage consumers with savings-based solutions to help prepare for financial emergencies like contending with higher than average inflation rates.

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