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2. Inflation is still a concern.

Portfolio > Economy & Markets > Economic Trends

Inflation Haunting Majority of Americans, Few Optimistic It Will Improve

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What You Need to Know

  • Nearly half of survey respondents place inflation among the three most pressing issues facing the country, along with health care and crime/gun violence.
  • Some 40% think inflation rates will never go back down.

Seventy-eight percent of Americans believe inflation has become a crisis, according to a survey released this week by Clever Real Estate, a St. Louis-based real estate company.

Forty-seven percent place it among the three most pressing issues facing the country, along with health care and crime/gun violence (abortion/reproductive rights comes in at no. 4), and 23% rank inflation as the most pressing issue.

The proprietary data in the study came from an online survey commissioned by Clever Real Estate and fielded in mid-September among 1,000 adult Americans. Respondents answered up to 21 questions related to their views on inflation in the U.S.

So worried are Americans about this strain on their finances that 65% of those surveyed overestimated the September inflation rate, putting it at more than 9%. Only 25% accurately said the rate was between 8% and 9%; it was 8.3%.

Here are the types of goods respondents said they had noticed become more expensive in 2022:

  • Food at the grocery store: 85%
  • Gas: 76%
  • Food at restaurants: 67%
  • Utilities: 61%
  • Cleaning products: 54%
  • Toiletries: 53%
  • Medicine/medical supplies: 43%
  • Entertainment: 41%
  • Pet supplies: 41%
  • Alcoholic beverages: 29%

The survey found that Americans are not optimistic that things will improve in the near future. More than 60% of participants said they expect rent prices and the cost of everyday goods to rise in 2023, and some 40% think inflation rates will never go back down.

Only 26% of respondents believe the economy will improve next year.

Here’s where things stand now: 93% of respondents said they have cut costs amid inflation, but only 37% reported that their household income has increased; 53% said they do not make enough money to live comfortably, and 38% said they cannot afford everyday expenses.

Inflation will be a factor in the November midterm election, according to the survey. Three-quarters of respondents who plan to vote said it will play a part in how they vote. Sixty percent of conservative respondents rank President Joe Biden’s policies as the primary cause of inflation, while liberal respondents consider the pandemic the be the top cause.


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