Finance

Americans’ views of economy, finances worsen: poll

For the first time ever, the price for a gallon of regular gas in Broward County is selling at some gas stations for more than five dollars, as seen at this Mobil station in Margate, Fla., on Sunday, June, 12, 2022. (Joe Cavaretta/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)

Three-quarters of Americans rate the current condition of the economy as fairly bad or very bad, and a majority are concerned about their ability to afford day-to-day expenses, according to a new CBS News-YouGov poll.

The proportion of Americans who view the state of the economy as fairly bad or worse has grown for each of the past two months, rising from 63 percent in April to 75 percent in the latest poll.

Republicans were more likely to have a negative view of the national economy, with just nine percent saying it is at least fairly good. Thirty-six percent of Democrats and 20 percent of independents viewed the economy as at least fairly good.

The increased pessimism comes after inflation rates in May surpassed economists expectations, with annual inflation hitting a 40-year high of 8.6 percent. Rising oil, food and shelter costs largely fueled May’s inflation spike. 

Those price hikes have left many Americans feeling unsure of their ability to retire, take vacation or even afford day-to-day items, according to the poll.

One-third of respondents said they were very concerned about their ability to afford basic goods and services while 32 percent said they were somewhat concerned. Seventy-three percent expressed at least some concern for their ability to save money.

Just one in ten Americans said they were very confident in their plans for retirement, while 41 percent said they were very concerned.

Much of the economic pain has been felt at the pump, with the national average price for a gallon of gas clocking in at $4.90 on Sunday, according to AAA. Sixty-two percent of respondents said the price of gas has had a lot of impact on them personally.

President Biden backed a federal gas tax holiday last week, but the proposal has been met with skepticism from many lawmakers. 

A slight majority of those polled — 54 percent — said they supported Biden’s proposal, compared to 46 percent who opposed the move.

As the Federal Reserve responds to surging inflation by rapidly raising interest rates, nearly half of respondents said they expect the U.S. economy next year to be in a recession.

Fed leaders and the Biden administration have attempted to downplay concerns of a recession, arguing it is possible to cool off demand without causing a major economic downturn.

But a growing number of economists are casting doubt on the possibility of a so-called “soft landing.” 

Larry Summers, who served as treasury secretary under former President Clinton, has said a recession is likely, which economists at Goldman Sachs last week doubled their prediction of a recession’s likelihood to 30 percent and JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon warned of an economic “hurricane” earlier this month.

The new poll revealed that 44 percent of respondents believed a recession will occur next year, and an additional 25 percent believed the economy will slow. Thirteen percent believed the economy next year will be booming or growing, and 18 percent believed it would hold steady.

The poll was conducted between June 22 and 24 through interviews with 2,265 U.S. adult residents. The margin of error is 2.6 percentage points.

Tags Biden Clinton Economy gas tax holiday inflation Jamie Dimon Larry Summers Recession
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