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Record number of Americans pessimistic about economy’s future: Poll

President Joe Biden. (Yuri Gripas/Abaca Press/TNS)
April 19, 2023

A new survey by CNBC found a record number of Americans feel negatively about the future of the U.S. economy amid inflation and fears of a looming recession.

In the latest CNBC All-America Economic Survey, 69 percent of respondents said they were pessimistic about the economy both now and into the future, CNBC reported. That was the highest percentage in the 17-year history of the survey.

The percentage was as low as 26 percent in December 2020 before reaching 51 percent by July 2021, according to the survey results.

READ MORE: US expected to enter recession this year, Federal Reserve says

The results come as the Federal Reserve is expecting the U.S. to enter recession this year due to fallout from the recent crisis in the banking industry. The results also follow a year of interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve intended to contain inflation.

In the survey, 54 percent of respondents described the state of the economy as “poor,” and 30 percent described it as “only fair.”

Fifty-seven percent of respondents said they think the U.S. will be in an economic recession sometime in the next 12 months. Nine percent said the U.S. is already in a recession.

Only 5 percent of respondents said they think their family’s income is growing faster than the cost of living. Sixty-seven percent said they think their income is falling behind cost-of-living increases, while 26 percent said they think they are “staying about even.”

READ MORE: Biden’s approval rating back near lowest-ever – here’s why

In the new CNBC survey, 39 percent of respondents approved of Biden’s performance, with only 34 percent approving of his handling of the economy. 

His approval rating in the survey has fallen from 47 percent in April 2021, as have views on his handling of the economy, which were 46 percent positive in April 2021.

The latest CNBC All-America Economic Survey reached 1,002 adults nationwide in early April with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percent.