Ask Americans for a word that describes the state of the economy in their lives, and you’ll hear a catalog of woe.
“Horrible.” “Chaotic.” “Sad.” “Struggling.” “Scary.”
In our new Suffolk University Sawyer Business School/USA TODAY Poll, 3 in 4 people volunteered words that reflected worry and worse – overwhelming the 1 in 5 who said things were good or improving or at least fair. Economists have been admiring the strong job market and the “soft landing” that has eased inflation without tipping into a recession, at least so far, but the view from the kitchen table is considerably less rosy.
“My read of this data: There’s no soft landing,” said David Paleologos, director of Suffolk’s Political Research Center.
By more than 3-1, 70%-22%, those surveyed said the economy was getting worse, not improving.
If the economic statistics are good, why do Americans feel so bad?
Here are six findings from the survey that help explain that disconnect. The poll of 1,000 people, taken by landline and cellphone Sept. 6-11, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.
Grocery costs are still biting
Is inflation getting better? Americans don’t see it.
There’s a national consensus that the cost of living is still rising: 84% said so. Just 4% said prices were easing, barely above the poll’s margin of error. Half of those who see inflation continuing, 49%, cite the cost of food as the biggest culprit.
Sixteen percent named housing costs, and 11% pointed each to utility bills and the…