Results from a poll (pdf) carried out by The Economist and YouGov show that 56 percent of Americans think the United States is now in a recession.
The survey found that only 22 percent of those polled disagreed with the notion that the country is in a recession, while another 22 percent said they are not sure if a recession is currently underway.
Whether a person identified with a particular political party factored into their views about the current American economy.
Some 45 percent of Democrats said they believed the United States is in a recession while 33 percent disagreed. Another 23 percent said they aren’t sure, according to the survey.
Some 70 percent of respondents who identified as Republicans believed the country is in a recession, while 8 percent of Republicans disagreed, the poll found. Twenty-two percent said they don’t know.
The poll found that 56 percent of independents say they believe the country is currently in a downturn. Another 22 percent of independents said “no” while 22 percent say they aren’t sure, pollsters found.
Fifty-eight percent of respondents aged 65 years or older say the country is currently going through a recession, and 54 percent of those aged 44 or younger agreed, it found.
The Economist-YouGov poll was carried out between June 11 and June 14 with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points. A total of 1,500 respondents participated in the survey.
The results come as the Federal Reserve announced Wednesday that it will hike interest rates to the highest levels seen in about three decades to offset soaring inflation. It came after the Department of Labor said that in May, the year-over-year inflation rose 8.6 percent.
Warnings about recession will likely hamper President Joe Biden’s and fellow Democrats’ messaging around the 2022 midterms. Top White House officials, including Biden, have said there will be no recession despite alarms being sounded by CEOs, economists, and Republicans.
In a comment to The Associated Press on Thursday, Biden noted that “people are really, really down,” although he suggested it was because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“They’re really down,” the president said. “The need for mental health in America, it has skyrocketed, because people have seen everything upset. Everything they’ve counted on upset. But most of it’s the consequence of what’s happened, what happened as a consequence of the COVID crisis.”
Biden remained defiant after he was questioned by an AP reporter about economists’ warnings about a looming economic downturn, in part triggered by elevated inflation.
“First of all, it’s not inevitable,” he said about the recession talk. “Secondly, we’re in a stronger position than any nation in the world to overcome this inflation.”
On June 9, meanwhile, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said that while a U.S. recession is not likely, a drop in gas prices won’t be occurring anytime soon. AAA data shows that average gas prices have hovered at around $5 per gallon.
“I don’t think we’re (going to) have a recession. Consumer spending is very strong. Investment spending is solid,” she told a New York Times Dealbook audience. “I know people are very upset and rightly so about inflation, but there’s nothing to suggest that a … recession is in the works.”