Forget interest rates, volatility in the stock market and terrorism. Do you know what most Americans consider the biggest near-term threat to the economy?
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A new survey from Bankrate.com found that it’s the outcome of the presidential election that has citizens most concerned, far above every other major issue featured in the study.
“When you think about things that might normally be considered risks to the economy—things like a rise in interest rates, a sharp drop in the stock market, maybe all the weakness we’ve seen from overseas economies—those were single digits in terms of where they registered on the worries,” Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at Bankrate.com, told FOX Business. “Sixty one percent of Americans pointed to the election and that’s five times as many votes as what we saw for the second highest, which was terrorism, that ever-present concern that we live with now, which was just 12%.”
McBride explained that “uncertainty” was a major factor as to why people cited the election over every other topic.
“People don’t know what’s going to change, or if it does, by how much,” he said. “And those are questions that the consumer, the small business owner, the corporate executive, doesn’t definitively know the answer to today and they don’t know when they will… And so that type of uncertainty, that’s where the risk to the economy comes in.”
He added: “When people are anxious they don’t spend, the business investment that’s been so weak for so long… it’s not going to pick up as long as there’s that cloud of uncertainty hanging over it.”