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People earning less and without college degrees were more likely to say they're having difficulties.
Forty-five percent of American households say recent price increases have caused them at least a moderate degree of financial hardship, with families who are earning less more likely to report difficulties, according to a new Gallup poll.
Ten percent of survey respondents said that the hardship they're dealing with is "severe" and affecting their ability to maintain their standard of living, while 35% described it as "moderate." Inflation is hitting levels not seen in years, with prices up for a range of goods, amid strong consumer demand, supply chain problems and labor shortages. Energy and food costs are also on the rise.
Republicans and even some economists who were part of earlier Democratic administrations, say policies backed by President Biden and congressional Democrats, which are pumping billions of dollars in federal coronavirus aid into the economy, are a key contributor.
Others push back on that idea and also say the stimulus helped to avert a worse economic downturn due to the virus. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen this week made the case that the pandemic and shifts in consumer spending are leading factors driving price increases.
The Gallup findings also show that difficulties from price increases are not spread evenly across different groups.
Seventy-one percent of respondents earning less than $40,000 a year said rising costs are causing their household some level of hardship. The same was true for just 29% of people with household incomes of $100,000 or more. Along similar lines, 54% of people without college degrees said they were experiencing difficulties due to price increases, while just 30% of degree holders said the same.
"For most, the problem is not a crisis—but lower-income households are feeling the impact more than others, with nearly three in 10 saying the hardship is severe enough that it is affecting their current standard of living," Gallup's Mohamed Younis wrote in a post about the findings.
The poll was based on self-administered, online surveys of 1,598 adults. It was conducted between Nov. 3 and 16. For results based on the full sample, the margin of error was +/- 3 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.
More about the findings can be found here.
Bill Lucia is a senior editor for Route Fifty and is based in Olympia, Washington.