Two-thirds of Americans expect inflation to get worse: poll

FILE – A customer pays for vegetables at the Maravillas market in Madrid, Thursday, May 12, 2022. Inflation hit a new record of 8.1% for the 19 countries that use the euro powered by surging energy costs boosted by the Russia-Ukraine war. The latest data Tuesday, May 31, 2022 from the European Union’s statistics agency Eurostat showed that annual inflation in May surpassed the previous record of 7.4% reached in the previous two months. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez, File)

Two-thirds of Americans expect the economy to get worse over the next year, according to a new Washington Post-George Mason University Schar School of Policy and Government poll.

In the survey, 66 percent of respondents said they expect inflation to get worse, while 21 percent said it will get better and 12 percent said it would stay the same.

Americans are feeling the financial squeeze at grocery stores and gas pumps as prices soar due to near 40-year highs of inflation. Consumer data set to be released on Friday is expected to show consumer prices rising at an even faster rate between April and May.

About 57 percent of Americans polled said they are making enough money to maintain their standard of living, while 20 percent said they are falling behind and 23 percent said they are getting ahead, according to the Post-Schar poll.

Sixty-three percent said they are optimistic about their family’s financial situation.

According to the poll, the public is also divided on who is to blame for high inflation.

On gas prices specifically, 58 percent blame President Biden a good deal or a good amount for rising gas prices. Around the same percentage say the coronavirus pandemic is the cause for high gas prices, while 72 percent pin the blame on corporations and 69 percent on Russia’s war in Ukraine.

The Biden administration has struggled to tamp down inflation, and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen admitted this week during congressional testimony that it was “virtually impossible” for the U.S. to insulate itself from rising gas prices, “given the global nature of these markets.”

The president released a plan last month to tackle inflation which involves repairing damaged supply chains and letting the Federal Reserve raise interest rates and bolster the power of the dollar.

During an interview Wednesday on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” Biden touted the more than 10 million jobs that have been added under his presidency and low unemployment rates.

“Inflation is the bane of our existence,” Biden said, but “we have the fastest growing economy in the world.”

Meanwhile, a majority of Americans say they plan to cut back on driving, spending and other costs ahead of the typically busy summer travel months, according to the Post-Schar poll.

The poll was conducted from April 21 to May 12 among 1,055 U.S. adults. The margin of error is plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Tags Biden Economy gas prices George Mason University inflation Inflation Joe Biden The Washington Post
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