Republicans (67%) are more likely than Democrats (44%) to mention inflation as the country's most important problem and to rate the economy more negatively. Independents fall between the party groups at 56%.
Gallup says this might be attributed to the fact that President Joe Biden is a Democrat.
A majority of Americans (56%) now say price increases are causing financial hardship for their household, up from 49% in January and 45% in November, Gallup reports. The latest reading includes 12% who describe the hardship as severe and 44% as moderate.
These are some of the findings of a Gallup web survey, Aug. 1-22, of over 1,500 members of Gallup's probability-based panel.
The annual inflation rate for the United States is 8.5% for the 12 months which ended July 2022 after rising 9.1% previously — the most since November 1981, according to U.S. Labor Department data published Aug. 10. The next inflation update is scheduled for release Sept. 13.
To combat inflation, 24% are reducing spending, including buying less in general or buying only essential items. Another 17% say they are traveling less or canceling vacations, while the same percentage indicate they are driving less or trying to use less gas.
People report buying cheaper goods or generic brands of products (12%), eating out less (10%), buying fewer groceries or growing their own food (10%), staying home (8%), and cutting down on entertainment expenses (8%).
Among survey respondents, 7% say they have tried to increase their income by working more hours, finding a second job or looking for a new job, and 3% say they are delaying medical procedures or appointments, and 3% are delaying home improvement or maintenance projects.
Two percent each say they are downsizing or selling things they own, using savings, or using credit cards or loans. One percent are using food banks or applying for assistance.
The percentage who are suffering severe hardship has held relatively steady at around 10%. Lower-income Americans are more likely than others to be experiencing severe hardship; 26% of those whose annual household income is less than $48,000 say prices are causing severe hardship for their families. That compares with 12% of middle-income Americans and 4% of upper-income Americans, according to Gallup.
Sharply more middle- and upper-income Americans are struggling now than were last November. The increase has been greater among middle-income Americans (up 17 percentage points) than among upper-income Americans (up 12 points).
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