Majority Of Americans Think US Economy Is In Recession, Poll Shows

Photo edit of the U.S. Capitol bulding.
Photo edit of the U.S. Capitol bulding.

A majority of Americans believe that the U.S. is currently in a recession, blaming the Biden administration for harsh economic conditions, according to research firm The Harris Poll.

Around 56% of people surveyed thought that the U.S. economy was in recession, and 55% thought that the economy was shrinking, according to a poll conducted for The Guardian. U.S. gross domestic product rose just 1.6% in the first quarter of 2024, down substantially from the 3.4% and 4.9% growth rates seen in the fourth and third quarters of 2023, respectively.

“What Americans are saying in this data is: ‘Economists may say things are getting better, but we’re not feeling it where I live,’” John Gerzema, CEO of the Harris Poll, told The Guardian. “Unwinding four years of uncertainty takes time. Leaders have to understand this and bring the public along.”

Nearly three-fifths of those polled blamed mismanagement from the Biden administration for the current poor state of the economy, and around 72% think that inflation is increasing, according to the survey.

The rate of inflation decreased slightly to 3.4% in April from 3.5% in the previous month, far higher than the Federal Reserve’s target of 2%. Prices have risen a total of 19.3% since Biden first took office in January 2021.


Around 49% of those surveyed responded that they thought unemployment was at a 50-year high even though the official rate remains below 4%, according to the poll. Despite the low unemployment rate, job gains over the past year have been propelled by additions in government employment, part-time positions and foreign-born populations, boosting employment counts.

President Joe Biden has sought to deflect blame for rising inflation away from his administration, arguing that it is actually corporate greed that is hiking prices. The Federal Reserve Board of San Francisco disproved this claim by pointing out that corporate markups are not greater than during other economic recoveries where huge surges of inflation were not present.

Many economists point to huge levels of government deficit spending for the persistent inflation that has tainted Americans’ views of the economy. Under Biden, the national debt has risen to nearly $34.6 trillion, according to the Treasury Department.

The poll collected responses from 2,119 adults between May 10 and 12.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request to comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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