Nearly two-thirds of Americans describe the economy as poor in a new poll that comes amid high inflation and supply chain turmoil.
The poll, released Monday by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, found just 35% of Americans now call the national economy good. That’s down from 45% in September and similar to the views in January and February, before most vaccines were widely available to most Americans.
Sixty-five percent of Americans in the poll said the economy is in poor shape.
In another sign of pessimism, nearly half of Americans (47%) now expect the economy to get worse in the next year, compared with 30% who say it will get better, the AP poll found. That’s a reversal from February and March when 44% in the same poll expected the economy to get better and 32% said it would get worse.
Just 51% of Democrats in the AP poll expect the economy to get better, down from 70% earlier this year. Nearly three-quarters (74%) of Republicans expect the economy to get worse, up from 59% earlier in the year.
The findings come as inflation has emerged as a more persistent problem than economists, the Federal Reserve or the White House anticipated.
Consumer prices have climbed by 5% or more in each of the past five months as supply struggles to catch up with demand. Prices have spiked on everything from used cars and food to appliances. Inflation has been driven in part by severe stress in supply chains amid port congestion and shortages of raw materials, components and truck drivers.
Gas prices have climbed to seven-year highs and home heating costs are expected to rise sharply this winter.
Nearly six in 10 Americans in the AP poll – 58% – disapprove of President Joe Biden’s handling of the economy and 41% say they approve.
Despite those findings, workers are feeling good about the jobs market.
The poll found 36% of Americans are very or extremely confident they could find a good job if they wanted to, up from 25% in March 2020. Another 35% say they are at least somewhat confident in finding a good job.
A record number of Americans quit their jobs in August and many businesses are struggling to fill open positions.