Focus Group: Few Voters Believe U.S. Economy Is ‘Booming’ amid Rising Inflation

A man wearing a mask walks by Century 21 department store, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020 in the Brooklyn borough of New York. The discount department store chain has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and is closing its 13 stores. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

A focus group indicated Thursday only 3 of 13 voters said they felt the U.S. economy is “booming” amid rising inflation concerns.

The focus group by Engagious/Schlesinger and first reported by Axios suggested the other ten respondents “expressed fear of an impending crash following the injection of federal stimulus money during the pandemic.”

The focus group also found the following two results:

  1. Eight of the 13 voters said they are apprehensive about inflation in their area, citing costs going up in a number of sectors, including groceries, gas, oil and real estate.
  2. 10 of the 13 voters are worried about the national debt. They fear tax hikes and believe that Social Security is at stake.

The concern of inflation, which hurts the poorest Americans by making the few dollars they possess worthless in terms of purchasing power, comes as the Consumer Price Index jumped five percent in May from a year ago, the fastest rise since 2008.

The index is used to measure a basket of consumer goods and services purchased by households and is correlated with inflation.

Some economic analysts worry inflation could go on for longer than expected because of the combination of very low interest rates, pent up consumer demand for goods and services, a particularly large budget deficit, and the release of excess savings built up by stimulus payments.

To distract from the increase of price for household goods, Axios reported the White House is “more interested in touting the lowest level of jobless claims during the pandemic, with 376,000 people filing for first-time unemployment benefits last week.”

In consideration of the employment rate, some of the respondents in the focus group spoke to their decision to become employed instead of relying on government subsidies or unemployment benefits.

“It was really tempting to say ‘no,’ because I made more from unemployment than I do from my part-time job,” Kelli V. stated as respondent number one.

“I know a couple people who didn’t lose their jobs but were talking about how they wish they could. They were hoping they would get laid off (to collect unemployment),” Holly, respondent number two, said.

On May 14, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy asked Republican governors to opt out of the federal programs in a letter to entice people back into the labor force and off the dole.


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