A seniors group said that Social Security’s cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) might be smaller for 2024 than previously estimated.
“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 2024 could be 2.7 percent,” the league wrote in a report on Tuesday.
But the group said that surveys of older Americans show that have seen “little improvement in their household spending” so far, saying that inflation is still high for certain essential items.
“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,” according to the group, which describes itself as nonpartisan.
Last year, the Social Security Administration, the agency that oversees the payments to retired Americans, made an 8.7 percent COLA increase, representing the highest boost in decades. That was due to persistently high inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index.
Data released by the Department of Labor on Tuesday show that food prices and shelter are high compared to previous years. That’s with the Consumer Price Index rising just 0.1 percent for the month and 4 percent from a year ago.
On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve said it would not raise benchmark interest rates, the first time the central bank has not opted to do so in more than a year.
“Since there are still five more months of data to come in, my estimate will change,” Johnson said in May. “The long-term inflation is still downward.”
The COLA affects about 70 million individuals who get Social Security payments, including seniors, disabled adults, low-income individuals who receive Supplemental Security Income, and survivors of insured workers.