Inflation and personal finances have resolved COVID-19 as the top concern of Americans, according to a new poll conducted by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research in June.
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The study notes that 40% of American adults specifically name inflation in an open question as one of the top five priorities the government needs to act on in the next year.
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- This is a sharp increase from last December when 14% thought the same. During 2020, barely 1% thought about it.
- In all, 77% cited the economy as a concern, up from 68% in December.
- Only 10% specifically mentioned employment or unemployment as an issue of concern, as US employers continue to hire despite rising costs of living and weak economic growth.
- Americans, specifically 44%, reported being concerned about their personal finances, compared to 24% who considered so in December.
- This includes further reference to gas or energy prices (33% now vs. 10% in December) and food costs (9% vs. less than 1%).
- The growing concern about the economy contrasts with the sharp decline in anxiety about COVID-19. Now only 4% mention it, compared to 37% in December 2021 and 53% in December 2020.
Inflation is also a political problem
While poor economic performance may be an advantage for Republicans heading into this year’s midterm elections, the poll reveals that many Americans think neither side is better at focusing on the big issues for them or getting things done.
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- The survey shows that the majority of Americans – 57% – don’t think one side is better than the other at getting things done. 37% do not think that either of them is better at focusing on their priorities.
- Republicans are more likely to cite inflation or personal finance as major issues than Democrats, but the sharp fluctuations since December have been bipartisan.
- The poll showed that 69% of Americans disapproved of Biden’s handling of the economy, including 93% of Republicans and 43% of Democrats.
- In May, faced with inflation at a 40-year high, a majority of Americans in an AP-NORC poll said they were concerned about the impact of higher-than-normal prices on their finances.
Main news source: AP