Biden economic approval rating drops amid inflation fears

Voter approval of President Joe Biden’s handling of the economy has ticked down in recent months, new polling data found.

The latest CNBC All-America Economic Survey was conducted at the end of July and released on Tuesday and pegged Biden’s economic approval rating at 42%, a decline from April of 4 percentage points.

Gloom over the country’s economic outlook also reached levels not seen since 2015, with 51% of the 802 adults polled expressing pessimism and only 22% expressing optimism for the economy and its future.

Inflation has also accelerated since the last time the survey was conducted. Annual inflation rose to 4.2% in April, grew to 5% in May, and then accelerated to 5.4% for the year at the end of June, according to the Department of Labor, the highest rate since 2008.

Those surveyed pointed to COVID-19, which has seen a resurgence as the highly contagious delta variant has become dominant, as the most pressing issue facing the country, but inflation came in a second-place tie with immigration. Infrastructure came in the last place, with just 4% of those surveyed choosing it as the most pressing matter despite the bipartisan infrastructure push.

Similar to Biden’s handling of the economy, approval of his handling of the pandemic also saw a decline from April. His COVID-19 approval fell from 62% to 53% in just months.

“Surging COVID and rising inflation are creating a bleaker outlook throughout the next 12 months than we’ve measured since the 2008 recession,” said Micah Roberts, a partner with Public Opinion Strategies and the survey’s GOP pollster. “Forty-three percent say the economy will get worse in the next year, tied for the highest we have measured since June 2008.”

While economic optimism might be trending down, the economy has still been growing at a fast clip as it rebounds from its pandemic recession. Gross domestic product grew at a 6.5% annual rate in the second quarter of 2021, significantly slower than what forecasters expected but better than the 6.3% rate in the first quarter.

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