After a year living amidst a ruthless pandemic and the passage of a third stimulus package, consumers report high levels of concern about inflation in the U.S. economy. In a CivicScience survey of more than 2,600 respondents, 77% said they were at least somewhat concerned about inflation.
Excluding respondents who weren’t sure of how they felt about inflation, Gen Z reports they are ‘very concerned’ at the highest rate, although overall concern is greatest among people between 35 and 54.
Naturally people who have had their hours or pay reduced as a result of the pandemic are the most sensitive to the idea of inflation and what it means for the general cost of living. If it’s difficult to make ends meet now, imagine how difficult it could be once inflation sinks in.
The issue of impending inflation is predominantly a political one with concern swinging both directions along party lines. Self-identified conservatives are 27% more concerned than self-identified liberals.
The political divergence is also clear when inflation concern is analyzed alongside concerns about the pandemic. In general, CivicScience data show a correlation between concern over the pandemic and an individual’s political ideology. For example, people who believe the pandemic will only be around for a few more weeks over-index in their concern about inflation.
But, if the pandemic rapidly ceased to be an issue, COVID-19 support in the form of federal aid — which some say is contributing to inflation — would also cease. Likewise, should the pandemic continue for six months or more, additional federal aid would presumably be all the more likely.