Americans, especially Republicans, are more worried about inflation.

Americans are more worried about inflation than at any time since 1985, and that worry is rapidly escalating, according to a new poll, a...


Americans are more worried about inflation than at any time since 1985, and that worry is rapidly escalating, according to a new poll, a potential problem for Democrats and the White House ahead of the midterm elections in November.

A Gallup poll published on Tuesday showed that rising prices were the number one economic concern for Americans, with 17% calling inflation the “nation’s most important problem”.

Inflation stress was split slightly across income groups – 63% of adults earning $40,000 or less were very worried, compared to 58% of those earning $100,000 or more – and markedly along policy lines. About 79% of Republicans were seriously worried about inflation, compared to 35% of Democrats.

“This reflects the ongoing phenomenon we see in polarization,” said Lydia Saad, director of American social research at Gallup. She noted that people responded increasingly differently to economic questions when their party controlled the White House, and often in ways that reflected the administration’s message. “Democrats are just going to play down the issues, just like Republicans did when Trump was in office,” she said.

President Biden’s administration initially expected the rapid inflation to subside. As she lingered, the White House began to assert that she was part of a global phenomenon and was exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. That’s right, but that’s probably not all, since US inflation is higher than in many other developed economies.

Prices in the United States rose 7.9% in the 12 months to February, according to the last reading of the consumer price index released this month. This is the highest level of inflation since the beginning of 1982.

Ms Saad said the fact that the worry index was lower today than in the early 1980s, when about half of American adults saw rising prices as the country’s biggest problem, could be a “silver lining”. Inflation had been high for years at the time, peaking at around 14.6% in 1980.

Even so, rising prices have undermined confidence in the overall economy, according to Gallup figures and other readings of consumer sentiment. Survey data from the University of Michigan shows that Republicans have been more pessimistic about the economy than at any time since 1980. Democrats, while more optimistic, were less confident in March than they had been at any time since Mr Biden’s 2020 election victory.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Americans, especially Republicans, are more worried about inflation.
Americans, especially Republicans, are more worried about inflation.
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