We’re still a long way off from any official Trustees’ announcement regarding 2019’s cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). The public won’t know for certain what to expect until this fall.
But that isn’t keeping Social Security experts from taking a look at this year’s inflationary trends and making early predictions about what they could mean for the all-important COLA.
As Sean Williams, writer at The Motley Fool, is quick to state, we don’t yet have data from the three months used to officially calculate the COLA (July, August, and September–the COLA is typically announced in or around October). Until we can see the inflation rates from those months, we can only speculate.
But we can look at the inflation trends from January through May this year and look at previous COLA raises to make some educated guesses about how things might play out after September.
And according to Williams, the economic climate this year seems pretty ripe for a COLA boost.
Williams bases this prediction primarily on inflation data for May. The Bureau of Labor Statistic’s May report shows energy, housing, and transportation costs have all increased in the past 12 months, with gasoline and heating oil skyrocketing by as much as 21.8% and 25.3% respectively. With the usual summertime gas price jump–and not to mention four straight years of record high summer gas prices behind us–Williams thinks it’s safe to say (for now, anyway) energy prices will cause a solid COLA increase in the neighborhood of 3% or higher.
You can read all of Williams’ predictions for the 2019 COLA and how he came to them by checking out his article right here.