Oct 11, 2022 - News

Texans are worried about inflation

Illustration of a worried emoji with an upward trend line as the mouth.

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

Most Texans are worried their purchasing power is going to drop over the next year as inflation continues to rise.

Driving the news: The UH Hobby School of Public Affairs and the TSU Barbara Jordan–Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs recently released the results of their survey gauging how Texans feel about inflation.

Between the lines: Inflation expectations are heavily influenced by individuals' income level and political allegiance.

  • Respondents who favor Gov. Greg Abbott expect a higher level of inflation in the next 12 months. Meanwhile, respondents supporting Democratic challenger Beto O'Rourke are more optimistic about future inflation.

What they're saying: "History suggests the same pattern manifests according to which political party has majority control in the country. With President Biden being a Democrat, the theory expects the opposing party — Republicans, currently — to feel the country is heading off course and economic worries are ahead," UH public affairs professor M.C. Sunny Wong said in a statement.

By the numbers: 87% of Texans expect that their real income, in terms of purchasing power, will fall over the next year.

  • Nearly 46% respondents think the inflation rate will increase in the next five to 10 years.
  • Lower-income households are most concerned with food, energy and general inflation costs.

Yes, but: The majority of respondents earning more than $200,000 believe their purchasing power will grow, canceling out the pain of price rises.

The big picture: Inflation expectations can influence how people choose to spend their money. If people think prices are going to keep rising, they may decide to make a big purchase sooner rather than later. Or they might feel empowered to fight for a bigger raise.

State of play: Gas prices are expected to increase again. The national average is $3.92 per gallon, while the Houston average is $3.21, per AAA as of Monday.


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