Inflation and Consumer Spending

Read this section for an in-depth look at the relationship between inflation, the economy, and how we spend our money. As you read this material, consider the effect of inflation on your purchasing power and buying habits. As the rate of inflation increases, there is a decline in your purchasing power as a consumer, but a decrease in inflation and lower prices can also affect what we buy. For example, as gas prices decline, we see an associated decline in the rate of hybrid car purchases. List three ways that inflation might affect your life.

Consumer Buying Power

A consumer's buying power represents his or her ability to make purchases. The economy affects buying power. For example, if prices decline, consumers have greater buying power. If the value of the dollar increases relative to foreign currency, consumers have greater buying power. When inflation occurs, consumers have less buying power.