(The Center Square) – Three out of four middle class households report falling behind the rising cost of living as inflation continues to soar, according to a new poll.
Primerica released the report, which found that 75% of middle-income families “say their income is falling behind the cost of living,” an eight-point rise since March. The poll found only 16% of those surveyed think they will be better off financially in a year.
Surveyed American middle-income families cited inflation as a top concern. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest federal inflation data showed a 9.1% increase in consumer prices in the past year and a rise in the producer price index of more than 11%, nearly the highest ever recorded.
“Concern about the economy continues to be a major stressor, with about 41% rating inflation as their top concern,” the group said. “Being able to pay for food and groceries also ranks high (26%, up four percentage points since March) as does their current financial situation (25%, up eight percentage points since March).”
The poll found most Americans expect a recession, with only 14% expecting the economy to get better this year.
“About three-quarters (77%) say it is likely America will be in recession by the end of the year,” the group said. “In addition, 61% believe the American economy will be worse off over the next year than it is now. Just 14% think it will improve.”
All these economic difficulties have forced many Americans to cut back on expenses.
“Nearly three-quarters (71%) report cutting back on restaurant/takeout meals, up from 57% in March,” Primerica said. “Nearly the same amount (69%) say they plan to keep their current technology instead of upgrading, up from 44% in March. And about half (49%) are planning to budget or cut back on groceries, up from 37% in March. Overall, more than one-third (38%) have already delayed a major purchase due to rising interest rates, including the biggest hike by the Fed in nearly 30 years. Still, nearly the same amount (39%) say they plan to take a vacation in the next 12 months”