Nearly eight in ten Americans expect that inflation will keep rising over the next six months, according to a new national survey
And half of those questioned a Gallup poll released on Wednesday think that consumer prices will surge "a lot."
Gallup highlighted that the 79% surveyed in their Jan. 3-16 poll, who said they expected inflation to rise, was the highest they’ve measured in the two decades they’ve been asking the question.
"In the past, Americans have always been more likely to say inflation will increase rather than decrease, but the current expectation is higher than usual -- in fact, it is the highest Gallup has measured in its trend," the polling organization wrote in its release. "The prior high was 76% in September 2005. In recent years, from 2007 through 2020, roughly six in 10 Americans have expected inflation to increase."
Poll after poll has indicated that inflation – which is surging at its highest levels in nearly four decades – has become a major issue for the public and has caused financial hardship for many Americans. Eighty-five percent of those questioned in a Fox News national poll conducted last week said they were worried about inflation. And that sentiment was bipartisan: 81% of Democrats and 91% of Republicans were concerned.
Voters questioned in the Fox News poll didn't agree on what’s causing inflation. By 48-42%, more blamed government policies than the pandemic. Democrats (66%) pointed to the pandemic, while Republicans (73%) cited federal policies.
Republicans (80%) were also more likely than Democrats (56%) to think inflation is sticking around for another year or more. Overall, more than two-thirds feel that way (69%).
"About half of Americans say higher prices are harming their finances, although only about one in 10 say it is so severe that it is affecting their standard of living. Those most affected are disproportionately from lower-income households, the least able to absorb higher prices in their budgets," Gallup noted.
The rise in prices has also fueled the drop in President Biden’s approval ratings the past six months, and in the increased support for the GOP in this year’s midterm elections. Republicans have charged since early last summer that the Democrats’ spending measures – from the COVID-19 relief package passed early last year, to the bipartisan infrastructure measure Biden signed into law in November, are mostly to blame for the spike in inflation.
According to the Gallup poll, a plurality of Americans (46%) predicted that the stock markets will go up. And by a 43%-34% margin, those questioned expected unemployment to continue to drop. The survey indicated that the public was divided on whether economic growth will continue to rise.
Gallup questioned 811 adults nationwide for its survey, with an overall sampling error of plus or minus four percentage points.