September 30, 2023

Despite some relatively good news earlier this year, Americans are deeply concerned about the economy, according to a new Harris Poll survey provided exclusively to MarketWatch.

According to Harris Poll executives, the survey, conducted this month, found that 87% of respondents were concerned about the economy and inflation — a figure that has held steady through all its financial ups and downs over the past year.

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“Economic anxiety is a big deal and it has overtaken COVID as the main driver of anxiety,” said Harris Poll chief executive Will Johnson.

For many Americans, it doesn’t matter that economic trends are improving, Johnson said, because “inflation is here, it’s real and [you’re] Seeing it everywhere.

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The January economic data showed some positive news on several fronts.

In January, 517,000 new jobs were added – more than twice as many as expected – and the unemployment rate fell to 3.4%, the lowest figure since 1969.

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And the annual rate of inflation, using the consumer-price index as a gauge, fell for the seventh consecutive month in January to an annual rate of 6.4%. The figure stood at 9.1% in June – a 40-year high. The rate measures the cost of goods and services compared to the previous year.

While this is an improvement, the 6.4% rate is still much higher than the 2% inflation rate that the Fed believes is best for the economy.

The survey also found that 50% of Americans say their financial situation is getting worse. Johnson said as bad as it may sound, it is an improvement on polling last June, when 64% said their situation was worsening.

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In addition, a new Harris Poll survey found that 80% of Americans are worried about a possible US economic recession and 46% fear they could lose their jobs.

Still, another leading barometer, the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index, showed Americans may be starting to feel better about the economy.

Michigan Index, which based on answers For various financial queries, roses in february For the third month in a row, an increase of 2.3 index points. The Michigan team noted, however, that sentiment is still 14 index points lower than two years ago.