10 Stats Showing Americans Are Still Worried About the Economy

Recent data indicates a decline in inflation. However, a substantial number of Americans continue to be worried about an unsteady economy that could hurt their finances.

The following statistics shed light on why the public’s perception of the nation’s economic condition diverge from expert analyses.

1: Rising Food Costs 

Photo Credit: Denys Kurbatov via stock.adobe.com.

According to polls, 67% of Americans say inflation is impacting food prices more than any other area, and a majority (71%) say they plan to eat out less in order to keep their bills down. Economists say it’s not inflation that’s causing the rise in prices as much as it is food industry worker shortages and subsequent wage increases.  

2: Housing Costs 

Photo Credit: Fotoluminate LLC via stock.adobe.com.

In many areas of the country, the cost of a single-family home continues to increase. According to the National Association of Realtors, single-family home prices in the second quarter of 2023 alone saw a 53.8% increase in 221 metro areas. Renters are also witnessing a steady rise in costs. 

3: Utility Costs

Photo Credit: Jason via stock.adobe.com.

The cost of utilities like gas and electricity are rising throughout the country. Surprisingly, wholesale power costs are down. However, experts say there is a lag between wholesale decreases and the prices consumers see, which means residential heat and power costs are still high. 

4: Transportation and Gas 

Photo Credit: kittisak via stock.adobe.com.

Over the past several years, the cost of gas and jet fuel have seen big increases. Americans are paying more to drive their cars, utilize public transit, and fly, often creating significant economic hardship. 

5: Vacations Postponed

Happy passenger in a van.
Photo Credit: Jacob Lund via stock.adobe.com.

A majority of Americans (68%) say that rising costs have forced them to cut or dial back their vacation plans. While many gave up their vacations entirely, others made major changes, like choosing a destination within driving range rather than relying on air travel. 

6: Less Clothing Purchases

Photo Credit: BOOCYS via stock.adobe.com.

Over two-thirds of Americans (68%) said they have cut down on clothing purchases. Walmart and Target both reported low apparel spending in 2023. 

7: Delayed Home Improvement

Photo Credit: kerkezz via stock.adobe.com.

Well over half of Americans (57%) say they’ve had to cancel or delay home improvements. Home renovation spending is expected to continue to decrease into 2024 as home sales drop and interest rates rise. 

8: Rising Interest Rates 

Photo Credit: bradcalkins via stock.adobe.com.

Federal interest rates began rising in March 2022. Rising rates meant mortgages and other consumer loans became unaffordable for many Americans. By the end of 2023, the average 30-year mortgage rate was over 8%. 

9: Overall Cost of Living 

Photo Credit: ARAMYAN via stock.adobe.com.

Surveys say most Americans agree the overall cost of living is going up. This may be why some are using words like “horrible,” “awful,” and “shambles,” to describe the economy. 

10: It’s Going to Get Worse

Photo Credit: Anthony Brown via stock.adobe.com.

One poll showed the majority of voters (62%) believe inflation will continue to rise going forward. Close to a quarter of Americans believe the US is set to enter a recession. 

Many Economists Disagree

Woman with her hands up.
Photo Credit: fizkes via stock.adobe.com.

While the general population has a dismal view of the current economy, experts say things are getting better. Traditional indicators like the overall inflation rate and unemployment rate look good compared to previous years. Inflation is expected to decrease over 2024, with expectations that it’ll arrive at the Federal Reserve’s 2% target by the end of the year.

Especially Salient

Photo Credit: wifesun via stock.adobe.com.

However, inflation rates and unemployment rates mean little to regular consumers who are paying far more for groceries than in 2020. Economists say that food prices are especially salient, meaning people notice them readily, and they contribute strongly to negative public perception. 

Possible Recession

Man holding an empty wallet.
Photo Credit: perfectlab via stock.adobe.com.

Many forecasters have also predicted the Fed’s tightening will land the US in a recession. Hearing about recession possibilities fuels negative public sentiment around the economy.  

19 Things the Middle Class Won’t Be Able To Afford in 5 Years

Photo Credit: wavebreak3 via stock.adobe.com.

If current financial trends continue, middle-class Americans may find things they used to afford unattainable. These are the troubling things that will likely become more difficult to afford in the next five years.

19 Things the Middle Class Won’t Be Able To Afford in 5 Years

10 US Cities Where $100,000 Stretches the Furthest

Man budgeting.
Photo Credit: Andrii Zastrozhnov via stock.adobe.com.

$100,000 in annual income may sound like a lot to many Americans. But depending on where you live, that might as well be chump change. These are the cities where you can make the most of $100k.

10 US Cities Where $100,000 Stretches the Furthest

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *