While the Biden administration has been touting significant improvements to getting Americans back to work since the pandemic, prices are still high and consumers continue to feel the strain on their wallets.
It’s front of mind for a solid majority of the U.S., as 92% of respondents said they are concerned about inflation.
In fact, 52% of Americans believe inflation is a bigger problem facing the United States today than unemployment, immigration and crime, poll data found.
With the holiday season in full swing, prices are still up about 19% since the pandemic and the National Retail Federation expects holiday spending to increase between 3 and 4% — the smallest year-over-year growth in the past three years.
A big reason behind the pause on spending is that 50% of Americans believe they are worse off financially than they were a year ago.
Daniel Roccato, a finance professor at the University of San Diego, said consumers can’t be fooled when the products they normally purchase are still more expensive than they were just two years prior.
“There’s a gap between reality and perception, and the reality is that American consumers are feeling pinched. We’ve had over two and a half years of inflation above where the Fed wants it and consumers are reminded of that inflation on a daily basis when they fill their grocery carts, when they buy diapers, when they buy a happy meal for their kids,” Roccato said.
He continued, “That’s the reality. And then, no matter how much marketing or spin the political elite want to put on it, the reality is that consumers are pretty smart.”
Inflation will likely be a key point of discussion during the fourth GOP primary debate on Wednesday, which will be hosted by NewsNation.
The remaining Republican candidates vying for the nomination will have to answer as to how they plan on addressing this top voter concern.