Less than 30 percent of adults are confident that they can keep up with their expenses

Fewer than 30 percent of Americans are confident they can keep up with their spending as inflation continues to weigh on the economy, according to a new poll.

The results of a poll conducted by The Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research at the University of Chicago, and released Friday, showed that only 29 percent of adults said they are “extremely” or “very” confident that they can keep keep pace with spending, marking a drop from the 45 percent who said so when inflation began to take effect in October 2021.

Researchers also found that the percentage of adults confident they could find a job if they wanted fell from 36 percent to 26 percent, and those confident they could afford to pay an unexpected medical expense fell from 33 percent to 23 percent.

About 40 percent said they are somewhat confident they can keep up with spending, while 29 percent said they are not very or not at all.

About three-quarters of respondents said their household expenses are higher than a year ago, while a third said their debt is higher. Almost half said that household savings were lower.

Yet just more than a third said their personal finances contribute greatly to their stress levels, while half said they contribute little. Just over half also said that they consider their financial situation to be good.

Pollsters found some decline in the percentage of people who are concerned about various specific expenses.

Almost 70 per cent said last May that they were extremely or very worried about the cost of groceries, compared to 56 per cent now, while the proportion worried about gas fell from 74 per cent to 48 per cent. The proportion worried about housing costs also fell from 54 per cent to 42 per cent.

The results come as inflation remains high but continues a multi-month trend of decline. Inflation peaked at 9.1 percent in June and fell to an annual rate of 6 percent last month.

The Federal Reserve has aggressively raised interest rates as part of its efforts to lower inflation below its 2 percent target. But some economic experts and politicians have expressed concern that the Fed’s move could lead to an economic slowdown.

The AP-NORC survey was conducted from 16 to 20 March among 1,081 adults. The margin of error was 4 percentage points.

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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