Less than 30 percent of adults are confident they can keep track of spending

Less than 30 percent of Americans are confident they can keep up with their spending, according to a new poll, as inflation continues to impact the economy.

The results of a poll conducted by The Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research at the University of Chicago, released Friday, showed that only 29 percent of adults said they were “extremely” or “very” sure. are that they can keep up with spending, down from the 45 percent it said when inflation started to take effect in October 2021.

Surveys also found that the percentage of adults confident they could find a job if they wanted to fell from 36 percent to 26 percent and the percentage of adults confident they could afford to face unexpected medical expenses fell from 33 percent to 23 percent.

About 40 percent said they are somewhat confident they can keep up with spending, while 29 percent said they are not very confident or not at all.

About three quarters of respondents said their household expenses are higher than a year ago, while a third said their debt is higher. Nearly half said their family savings were lower.

Still, just over a third said their personal finances are a major contributor to their stress levels, while half said they make a small contribution. Just over half also indicate that they consider their financial situation to be good.

Surveys did find some declines in the percentage of people who are concerned about various specific expenses.

Nearly 70 percent said they were very or very concerned about the cost of groceries last May, compared to 56 percent today, while the percentage concerned about gasoline fell from 74 percent to 48 percent. The percentage that is concerned about housing costs also fell from 54 percent to 42 percent.

The results come as inflation remains high, but continues its multi-month downward trend. Inflation peaked at 9.1 percent in June and fell to 6 percent on an annual basis last month.

The Federal Reserve has aggressively raised interest rates as part of its efforts to bring inflation below its 2 percent target. But some economic experts and politicians have expressed concern that the Fed’s measures could trigger an economic downturn.

The AP-NORC survey was conducted March 16-20 of 1,081 adults. The margin of error was 4 percentage points.

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