Seventy-three percent of Americans say they are “very concerned” about rising food and consumer goods prices due to inflation, according to a recent Pew Research poll.
Eighty-one percent of Republicans said high food and consumer goods prices were a big concern, while 66% of Democrats agreed. Other economic issues that are of great concern to US voters include gas and energy prices (69%) and the cost of housing (60%).
With the midterm elections fast approaching, “the economy” is the top issue for all registered voters, with 79% saying it is a “very important” issue. Forty-seven percent of Republican voters agreed with this statement, compared to 32% of Democrats.
While about 80% of registered voters in both parties say they are very motivated to vote in November, 49% of Republican voters say they have given “a lot of thought” to the congressional elections, compared to 38% of Democratic voters.
Americans have been hit hard by a sluggish economy due to soaring inflation across multiple commodities. Grocery prices climbed 13% from a year ago, while gasoline prices rose 19.7%. Last summer, Americans reported cutting back on car trips and grocery shopping due to soaring prices.
Overall, prices are up 8.2% since last year, rising 0.4% between August and September, according to the consumer price index. Core inflation – not counting food and energy prices – has risen 6.6% over the past year, its highest level in 40 years.
With fewer Americans spending money and the Federal Reserve raising interest rates, economists are warning a recession could be looming. The Bank of America even forecasts that the unemployment rate will reach 5.6% in August. For reference, the unemployment rate was 3.7% in August.
Although a number of economists and a majority of Americans agree that the economy is in bad shape, President Joe Biden said on Oct. 15, while eating ice cream, that the economy “is strong as the ‘hell”. He doubled down in a speech the following week, saying the economy was stronger than it was before the pandemic.
The survey was conducted among 5,098 adults, including 3,993 registered voters, from October 10-16, 2022.
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