A substantive majority of Americans said they are “somewhat concerned” about inflation and about four out of 10 people believe the government might not be able to rein it in, according to a new poll released Tuesday.
Eighty-five percent said they are “somewhat concerned” and of that group, 45 percent said they’re “very concerned” about inflation, The Hill reported on Tuesday, citing a Harvard CAPS/Harris poll.
The Labor Department’s consumer price index showed that inflation has risen 5 percent since last May — a 13-year high — as companies struggle to keep up with a surge in demand following the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said last week that rising prices are “transitory” and a consequence of the economy reopening.
“Our expectation is these high inflation readings now will abate,” he said.
But while 58 percent of the respondents believe the Federal Reserve can handle inflation, 42 percent said they don’t have confidence in the Fed.
Asked about the administration’s ability to check inflation, 55 percent said they trust the White House and 45 percent have no confidence.
“Concern about inflation is reaching new highs as people begin to spend their savings from COVID lockdowns,” said Mark Penn, director of the Harvard CAPS/Harris poll. “The administration has to watch this as a potential issue on the horizon.”
At the same time, the number of people saying the economy is strengthening grew 12 percentage points from January — from 45 to 57 percent.
Another 37 percent said they have seen their financial situation improve since January — a 9 percentage-point increase.
The poll, conducted between June 15 and 17, surveyed 2,006 registered voters.