Only about a third of Americans call the economy good, according to a new AP-NORC Center poll. There’s a disconnect, though, in how Americans view the economy and how they see their own financial prospects. The pollsters write,
As the growth of the U.S. economy slows, prices increase, and supply chain issues persist, 65% percent of Americans consider the national economy to be in poor condition. And nearly half expect the national economic situation to get even worse next year.
However, Americans’ views of their own finances have remained consistent throughout the pandemic. Sixty-five percent describe the financial situation in their household as good.
Something changed this fall.
Views of the economy remained consistent throughout the spring and summer. Last month, 54% said the economy was poor and 45% said it was good. Now, 65% consider the economy to be poor condition.
And while the majority of Americans still view their financial situation as good, confidence is waning.
The percentage of Americans who think their personal financial situation will get worse over the next year increased to 24% from 13% in February of this year. And only 33% think that their finances will improve, down from 40% in February.
The survey toplines are here.
The Associated Press reports on its poll:
The deterioration in Americans’ economic sentiments comes as the cost of goods is rising nationwide, particularly gas prices, and bottlenecks in the global supply chain have made purchasing everything from furniture to automobiles more difficult. The Labor Department reported earlier this month that consumer prices in September rose 5.4% from a year earlier, the largest one-year increase since 2008.
Economic inequalities between Black and Hispanic Americans compared to their white counterparts remain, however. White Americans are much more likely than Black or Hispanic Americans to be highly confident in their ability to pay an unexpected bill or medical expense.
We tend to focus on expectations, as we do on consumer confidence, because often our current behavior is driven by what we anticipate lies ahead. So this is worrying,
Roughly half of Americans — 47% — now say they expect the economy to get worse in the next year, compared with just 30% who think it will get better. In an AP-NORC poll conducted in February and March, the situation was reversed: 44% expected the economy to get better in the year ahead and just 32% said it would get worse.
Something to watch.