The presidency of Joe Biden has now erased the Trump era’s accomplishment of diminished economic anxiety, poll results released by Gallup on Wednesday showed.
Mentions of economic issues as the country’s most important problem have soared over the past year and a half. In April, thirty-nine percent of Americans named an economic issue such as inflation, fuel prices, or the economy in general as the most important, up from 11 percent in December of 2019, before the pandemic struck.
During the pandemic, the figure fell down to 10 percent as concerns related to Covid-19 and policies around it mounted.
On the eve of the election of Donald Trump in 2016, 31 percent of Americans named an economic issue as the most important facing the country. That number steadily fell throughout the Trump administration, eventually surpassing the previous record low of 13 percent set in 1999.
The opposite has happened under President Biden. Economic anxiety has soared. The share of Americans saying the biggest problem is the high living and inflation rose to 17 percent in March, the highest since 1984, and remained there in April, Gallup said.
Those saying that it was the economy in general that was the top issue ticked up from 11 percent in March and February to 12 percent in April. The share saying fuel and oil prices were the primary problem has jumped from one percent in February to four percent in March to six percent in April.
When asked in a separate poll by Rassmussen who bears most of the responsibility for soaring gasoline prices, 15 percent of Americans said Putin and 26 percent said the major oil companies. A majority of 51 percent blame President Joe Biden.
Just two percent of Americans view President Biden’s economy as “excellent,” the survey found.
Most U.S. adults, 80 percent, rate the economy as either poor or fair., including 42 percent who say the economic conditions are poor. Just 18 percent say economic conditions are good.
The Biden administration has repeatedly expressed frustration that the economy is rated so poorly by many Americans despite very low unemployment. The swift rise of inflation to a forty-year high, however, has weighed on American households and the economy appears to have slowed to a crawl in the first quarter thanks to supply chain woes and a surge of imports that pushed the trade deficit to record highs. The Atlanta Fed’s GDPNOW model currently estimates that the economy grew 0.4 percent in the first quarter, well below the consensus estimate of a 1.1 percent growth rate.
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