RALEIGH N.C. (WNCN) – The final national Consumer Price Index report before the November elections shows inflation still climbing, despite federal interest-rate hikes.

Buying food, paying rent, and filling up the car are all emptying wallets faster. Thursday, the government reported consumer prices rose 8.2 percent in September from the same month last year.

“It shows inflation’s not going away,” Michael Walden, an economist at N.C. State said. “The problem with inflation is not necessarily that the prices go up by a large amount, it’s that wages are not going up by a similar rate. People’s standard of living is going down.

Walden said accelerating inflation means more federal interest-rate hikes.

“People aren’t happy and unfortunately the pain that’s going to have to be inflicted economically to get inflation down, there’s more pain to come,” he said.

With just weeks away from the general election, inflation is taking the top spot in key races in North Carolina.

“That will be my number one priority when I get to the U.S. Senate, to get our fiscal house in order and to get prices down,” Republican U.S. Senate candidate Ted Budd said Wednesday.  

“I certainly believe that the President and Congress could work a whole lot harder to make sure that prices are being lowered,” Democratic senate candidate Cheri Beasley said during a debate with Budd last week.

Walden compares today’s inflation to that of 40 years ago, when Republicans were the majority party in Congress during the 1982 elections and lost seats in both the Senate and the House.

“People are going to blame whoever is in power, doesn’t matter if it’s Republicans or Democrats,” Walden said. ”This report today is going to help Republicans pick up seats.”

A recent Associated Press poll shows 46 percent of people said their financial position is poor, while 63 percent of respondents disapprove of Biden’s handling of the economy.