Nearly two-thirds of registered voters believe the U.S. economy is currently in a recession, according to a new Politico-Morning Consult poll.
About 65 percent of respondents indicated they believe the economy is already in a recession, compared to 22 percent who said the opposite. Fourteen percent didn’t know or had no opinion.
Republicans were more likely to consider the economy to be in a recession, with 81 percent saying so compared to 63 percent of independents and 51 percent of Democrats.
Concerns about an economic slowdown have grown as the Federal Reserve continues aggressively hiking interest rates, which increases borrowing costs to lower inflation by cooling off demand.
Analysts and economists are confident the Fed will announce a hike in its baseline interest rate range of another 0.75 percentage points on Wednesday, which would mark the fourth consecutive increase at the aggressive pace.
Fed Chair Jerome Powell has indicated the central bank will keep increasing rates until inflation shows clear signs of falling, but progressive Democrats are increasingly ripping Powell for risking job losses as a result of the moves.
The hikes already have caused rising mortgage rates and a a steep decline in home sales. Wage growth has slowed and businesses have pulled back on long-term investments that could drive future growth.
But although inflation has eased from a 40-year high reached earlier this year, price gains remain at elevated levels.
The latest consumer price index (CPI) indicates prices rose 0.4 percent in September, marking the second straight month of accelerating inflation. Annual inflation dropped slightly to 8.2 percent.
Meanwhile, gross domestic product (GDP) declined in the first two quarters of the year, sparking debate over whether the data signified the economy was technically in a recession.
President Biden suggested last month the possibility of a “slight recession” while indicating he didn’t believe there would be one at all, and the White House has regularly touted strong employment numbers and manufacturing growth to reject talk of such a downturn.
After the Commerce Department released data showing U.S. economic growth rebounded during the third quarter, with GDP growing at an annualized rate of 2.6 percent, Biden held up the numbers as a counterpoint to “doomsayers” and Republicans in the recession debate.
“For months, doomsayers have been arguing that the US economy is in a recession and Congressional Republicans have been rooting for a downturn,” Biden said at the time. “But today we got further evidence that our economic recovery is continuing to power forward. This is a testament to the resilience of the American people.”