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The economy remains a top concern for US voters ahead of the presidential election

Despite a low unemployment rate and slowing inflation, many Americans believe the economy isn't doing well because food and gas prices are still high.
Economy Groceries
Posted at 9:33 AM, Jun 13, 2024

One of the top concerns for voters ahead of the November presidential election is the economy. According to Pew Research center, 73% of Americans think strengthening the economy should be a top priority for the president.

Additionally, a recent poll by the University of North Florida found 27% of voters said their top issue is the economy when making their 2024 presidential vote. That's more than any other topic.

A person shops for groceries.

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Overall, most voters — 56% — wrongly believe the country is currently in a recession, according to a study by the Harris Poll for The Guardian. That same study includes nearly half of Democrats and more than two-thirds of Republicans, even though the U.S. hasn't been in a recession since 2020.

Even though the rate of price increases is slowing, it's still high. Inflation is down to about 3% now from a peak of 9% in 2022.

"The real wages are increasing much faster than the inflation rate, which is very steady," said Kishore Kulkarni, an economist with Metropolitan State University in Denver. "And therefore, the real wages are in fact increasing, but people are not feeling it because there is so much negativism outside."

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Kulkarni said despite the low unemployment rate and slowing inflation, many people believe the economy isn't doing well because food and gas prices are still high.

"I think that that's where the main pinch is as far as the general public is concerned," Kulkarni said. "Grocery prices are going up and everything related to grocery bill in the restaurant industry. So that's why we feel that we are not doing very well."