SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Americans are dealing with sticker shock as the consumer price index peaks at 8.6%. 22News asked what people in the area think the federal and local government can do to off set some of these costs.

U.S. inflation is rising at the fastest pace in 40 years according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, much higher than forecasted by economists. And, it is putting quite a strain on American wallets.

Americans continue to grapple with the rising costs of food and energy as inflation spikes. Right now, consumers are experiencing the biggest jump in prices since 1981.

Many families are finding stretching their budget to cover basic necessities impossible and say change has to come from a federal level. Some are looking for President Biden to roll back the changes he made to energy policies.

Chris Longo from Feeding Hills said, “I think that if he reversed a lot of policies that he made, that would help to fix this problem.”

Springfield resident Jasmine Small says she is a struggling single mother and that a boost in benefits could help. “Coming up more with SNAP benefits,” she told 22News, “As far as helping these low income moms.”

Congressman Richard Neal said this economic problem is being felt globally. “But at the moment, money is outpacing goods, so I think that’s contributed to it as well. I think the Federal Reserve Board is going to have much to say about this and I anticipate that’s what markets are reacting to yesterday and today,” he said.

Springfield resident Joe Cotton thinks communities need to come together for help.

Cotton expressed, “Neighbor helping neighbor. They don’t do that anymore. Nobody helps each other any more, but reach out to each other, help each other go through the storm.”