(The Center Square) – Americans are not optimistic about the economy this year.
A new poll from Gallup found about 80% of those surveyed expect higher taxes, a higher deficit and a worse economy in 2023.
“More than six in 10 think prices will rise at a high rate and the stock market will fall in the year ahead, both of which happened in 2022,” Gallup reports. “In addition, just over half of Americans predict that unemployment will increase in 2023, an economic problem the U.S. was spared in 2022.”
Americans have good reason for their economic pessimism.
Inflation has soared in the past two years, and wages have failed to keep up with the higher prices.
Grocery prices have risen even higher than the overall inflation rate, and they show little sign of returning to their previous levels this year.
As The Center Square previously reported, an analysis from GasBuddy predicts gas prices will rise again this year, peaking at over $4 per gallon nationally this summer.
“The government, the economy and inflation dominated as the most important problems facing the U.S. in 2022, and confidence in the economy remains among the worst readings measured since the Great Recession,” Gallup reports. “This decreased confidence is largely due to the highest inflation in the U.S. in more than 40 years, which a majority of Americans say is causing financial hardship in their household.”
Setting aside economic concerns, Americans expect more partisan gridlock in Washington, D.C., and continued conflict internationally. When asked if they expected if there would be “a peaceful year, more or less free of international disputes,” the vast majority answered in the negative.
This pessimism could weaken President Joe Biden’s legislative efforts over the next two years. With a divided Congress, a prolonged conflict in Ukraine and ongoing economic struggles, he may have little political clout to bring about any significant legislative wins before 2024, when all attention will turn to the presidential race.
“Americans are greeting 2023 with great skepticism and little expectation that the economic struggles that closed out 2022 will abate,” Gallup reports. “Few U.S. adults also predict the partisan politics that plague the nation will improve, not an unreasonable expectation given that there will be divided government in 2023 after Republicans won control of the U.S. House of Representatives. The public’s predictions for international affairs are similarly pessimistic. However, with their party controlling the White House, Democrats are more hopeful about the year ahead.”