Nearly seven in 10 Americans hold negative views about the US economy and two-thirds say inflation is outpacing their wages, according to a stunning survey published Tuesday.
A total of 69% say they are downbeat about the country’s financial shape now and in the future, the highest percentage in the 17-year history of the CNBC All-America Economic Survey.
For context, pessimism about the current and future economy stood at 37% in April 2021 and rose to 68% in July 2022, roughly tracking with a spike in annual inflation from 4.2% in April 2021 to a four-decade high of 9.1% in June 2022.
Meanwhile, 62% of Americans disapprove of how President Biden is handling the economy, while just 34% approve, the poll found.
Biden’s overall job disapproval rating has risen slightly to 55% from 53% in November, while his approval rating fell two points to 39% in the same period.
The 80-year-old’s approval rating among independents has fallen nine percentage points to 27% from this time last year, and two percentage points among Democrats to 77%.
“It’s clear that as much as there is a partisan overlay to people’s attitudes, everybody is also feeling the squeeze, including Democrats, and that’s depressing numbers with the base,″ said Jay Campbell, a partner at Hart Research, the survey’s Democratic pollster.
The survey also found that 57% predicted a recession will happen in the next year, with 9% saying the US was in one already.
A full 67% of Americans think their wages are falling behind the cost of living, while another 26% said they were staying about even and just 5% said their salaries were outrunning inflation.
As a result of higher food and gas prices, 65% say they are cutting back on going to restaurants and movies, 54% are traveling less, 53% are driving less to do errands and other day-to-day activities, 49% are tapping into savings to cover expenses, and 43% are buying fewer groceries.
Another 40% say they have taken an additional job or are working more hours to make ends meet — up 7 percentage points from July of last year.
More than half of respondents (54%) said groceries had taken the biggest bite out of their wallets — up from 34% in January 2022 — followed by gasoline (17%), housing (12%), and healthcare (8%).
The poll surveyed 1,002 adults between April 6-11 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.