- The Washington Times - Friday, March 31, 2023

Large majorities of adults say the economy is subpar and getting worse due to the rising cost of living, Gallup reported Friday.

Gallup’s monthly survey found 83% of Americans describe current economic conditions as “fair” or “poor” and just 16% called it “excellent” or “good.” And 72% said conditions are worsening, compared to 23% who said they are improving.

“With inflation hovering around 6%, the issue continues to be Americans’ biggest specific economic concern; 12% currently name it as the most important problem facing the country,” Gallup said.

Among those surveyed, 33% listed economic issues as their top concern. In addition to inflation, 12% mentioned the economy in general and 3% cited the federal budget deficit or federal debt.

Americans named the government (20%) and immigration (11%) as their next-biggest concerns after the economy.

Overall, Gallup said its monthly Economic Confidence Index hit -34 this month, statistically unchanged since November but slightly better than a 13-year low of -58 last June. The index hit its record low of -72 in October 2008.

The score, which asks Americans to rate the current economy and say whether it is improving, is based on a 1-100 scale. Launched in 1992, it has been underwater since March 2020, when officials first shuttered non-essential businesses during the pandemic.

Gallup conducted the randomized national telephone survey of 1,009 adults on March 1-23. The margin of error was plus or minus 4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.

• Sean Salai can be reached at ssalai@washingtontimes.com.

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