Topline

Some 70% of American adults view inflation as a very large problem in the United States right now, significantly more than any other issue–including Covid-19—according to a survey released Thursday from Pew Research Center, as inflation sits near a four-decade high.

Gas prices are displayed at a gas station in Washington, D.C., the United States, on May 11, 2022. … [+] U.S. consumer inflation in April surged by 8.3 percent from a year ago, marking the second straight month of inflation over 8 percent, the U.S. Labor Department reported Wednesday.

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Key Facts

Another 23% of Americans said inflation was a moderately large problem in the country right now and 6% said it was a small problem, according to Pew Research Center, which surveyed over 5,000 respondents from April 25 to May 1.

Answers varied along political lines, with 84% of Republicans and 57% of Democrats calling inflation a very large problem.

After inflation, 55% of Americans said the affordability of health care was a very big problem, followed by 54% who named violent crime, 51% who listed gun violence, 51% who named the budget deficit and 42% who named climate change.

Republicans were more likely to list inflation as a big problem than any other issue, while the top issue for Democrats was gun violence, at 70%.

Tangent

Only 19% of respondents said the Covid-19 pandemic was a very big problem, down from 58% in June 2020. A Gallup poll released Wednesday found that in April, only 17% of American adults were very or moderately worried about catching Covid-19, the lowest figure since July 2021. Though worry over the pandemic has significantly decreased, the seven-day average of daily new cases has slowly begun increasing again over the last month, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. On Tuesday, the U.S. reported a weekly average of 78,236 new cases per day. During its peak in January, over 800,000 new cases per day were reported on average.

Key Background

In March, the consumer price index climbed 8.5%, its quickest year-over-year increase since 1981, driven partly by rising gas prices and the country’s emergence from the coronavirus pandemic. Prices increased 8.3% in April compared to last year, the Labor Department reported Wednesday, marking the first decrease in year-over-year inflation since August as some experts think inflation may have peaked—but April’s figures still exceeded the 8.1% jump expected by economists. In January, 79% of Americans said they expected inflation to increase either a little or a lot in the next six months, according to a Gallup survey.

Further Reading

Inflation Spiked Worse-Than-Expected 8.3% In April—But Have Surging Prices Finally Peaked? (Forbes)

Dow Falls 300 Points As Red-Hot Inflation Report And Sinking Tech Stocks Drag Markets Lower (Forbes)

Inflation Hits 40-Year High—Spiking 8.5% In March As Ukraine Invasion Fuels Oil Prices (Forbes)

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