A meager 30% of Americans approve of President Joe Biden’s economic performance — a level far lower than the worst reading under his recent predecessors, according to a new poll released Monday.
CNBC’s All-America Economic Survey recorded Biden’s economic approval rating dropping five percentage points since the most recent survey in April. Only 6% of Republicans and 25% of independents support Biden’s record, while 58% of Democrats still approve of Biden’s handling of the economy.
Former President Donald Trump’s lowest economic approval rating was 41%, while former President Barack Obama’s was 37%, according to CNBC.
Meanwhile, 51% of Americans believe Biden’s attempts to combat inflation are “making no difference,” while 30% say they are “actually hurting.” A mere 12% believe Biden’s moves are “helping.”
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 9.1% between June 2021 and June 2022, while the Producer Price Index (PPI) rose 11.3% over the same period, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
With respect to economic expectations, 52% of Americans believe the economy will get worse over the next year, while a slim 22% believe it will improve — readings lower than those seen during the financial crisis of 2008 and the worst in the CNBC poll’s history. More than 60% of Americans are bracing for a recession within the next 12 months, while 6% believe the nation is already in a downturn — results usually seen during actual recessions, according to CNBC.
Amid the high inflation environment, Americans are faced with greater expenditures and are dipping into savings to make ends meet. Consumer confidence has fallen to its lowest level in seven decades, according to the University of Michigan’s benchmark Survey of Consumers.
Last month, however, President Biden claimed during an interview that a recession is “not inevitable” and said Americans “shouldn’t believe” economists’ warnings. Over the weekend, Jared Bernstein — a member of President Joe Biden’s Council of Economic Advisers — deflected when asked whether the United States is bound for a recession.
“It is very hard to conclude that we are in a recession when you look at the payroll and the job gains that we’ve seen now, it is tricky to look around the corner here, and I’m not going to predict quarters down the road,” he argued. “But I think right now, you’ve got inflation headwinds big time in this economy — not taking anything away from that — but you also have some very strong tailwinds that are boosting consumers.”
Nevertheless, respondents to the CNBC poll indicated that they are cutting back on various spending items to cope with the higher prices — a reality that could threaten the broader United States economy, which is primarily driven by consumer spending. While 65% will decrease entertainment expenditures, 61% will drive less, 54% will reduce travel, 41% are spending less on groceries, and 32% will increase the use of their credit cards.
The poll revealed that inflation is “by far the top concern” ahead of the midterm elections, garnering more mindspace among respondents than abortion, crime, immigration, jobs, and climate change. The Republican Party appears to be leading among those concerned with economic issues — for example, voters most concerned with inflation prefer Republican control of Congress 47% to 38%.