September 25, 2022
A severe pessimism grips the U.S. economy and Americans report the highest level of dissatisfaction with their financial situation in at least half a century, poll results released Monday show.

A severe pessimism grips the U.S. economy and Americans report the highest level of dissatisfaction with their financial situation in at least half a century, poll results released Monday show.

Eighty-three percent of Americans describe the state of the economy as poor or not so good, according to a Wall Street Journal-NORC Poll. Only one percent describe the economy as “excellent.”

The poll results show just how much inflation has damaged the U.S. economy and the perceptions of Americans about their own financial well-being. The Consumer Price Index in March was up the most in 40 years and the April inflation rate was close behind it. The government will release figures for May’s price level on Friday.

Thirty-five percent said they are not at all satisfied with their financial condition, the highest level of dissatisfaction since NORC began asking the question every few years starting in 1972.

Sixty-three percent of Americans say they are extremely or very concerned about the price of gas. Fifty-four percent say they are extremely or very concerned about the impact of high grocery prices on their household’s financial situation. Just 13 percent say they not very or not at all concerned about gas prices and 19 percent about grocery prices.

The share of Americans who think they can improve their standard of living has plunged. Just 27 percent now say they have a good chance of improving, down from 47 percent a year ago. Forty-six percent say they don’t have a good chance of improving their standard of living.

Only 38 percent of Americans say they are generally optimistic about the opportunity for most people to achieve the American dream. Sixty-eight percent say they are generally pessimistic.

President Joe Biden is reportedly “seething” over his failing presidency as his approval numbers have tanked due to the overwhelming pessimism over the economy. A separate poll by CBS/ISPOS showed that 61 percent of Americans disapprove of Biden’s handling of the economy, 71 percent disapprove of his handling of inflation, and 72 percent disapprove of his handling of gas prices. Sixty-one percent also disapprove of Biden’s tax policies. Twenty-one percent say inflation will be their single most important issue when they vote in the midterms.