December 7, 2023

Despite the angry denials of the Biden administration, a growing share of the American public believes the US economy is in recession.

The percentage of Americans who say the country is in a recession rose to 61 percent recently, according to polling data from the Economist and YouGov indicates. That’s up from 57 percent one month ago.

Last week, President Joe Biden went out of his way to downplay the Commerce Department’s report that the economy shrank for a second straight quarter, a popular definition of a recession.

Biden cited very low unemployment rates to defend his handling of the country’s economic affairs. The unemployment rate in June was 3.6%.

“That doesn’t sound like a recession to me,” Biden said.

A wide range of Americans disagree. The poll shows that more than 60 percent of men and women say we are in a recession. White people with college degrees and not saying we’re in a recession. A majority of Hispanic Americans say we are in a recession.

The share of black Americans who say we are in a recession rose from 44 percent in July to 53 percent in August.

The share of suburban Americans who say we’re in a recession jumped from 55 percent to 63 percent. The share of rural residents increased from 60% to 66%. City dwellers became slightly less convinced we’re in a recession, with the stock saying we’re down from 57% to 55%.

Income makes almost no difference. Sixty-one percent of Americans earning less than $50,000 say it’s a recession. Sixty-three percent of Americans earning over $100,000 agree. Sixty-five percent of those in the top and bottom third say we are in a recession.

Majorities of every age cohort in the poll agree we’re in a recession, ranging from 51 percent of 18-to-29-year-olds to 63 percent of 30-to-44-year-olds, 64 percent of 45-to-64-year-olds years-old and 66 percent for people aged 65 and over. 29 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds say they’re not sure if we’re in a recession, the highest of any age group.

Democratic partisanship still divides the country. 82% of Republicans say we are in a recession, up from 75% a month ago. Sixty-one percent of independents do as well, up from 57 percent. 44% of Democrats say we are in a recession, virtually unchanged from the July poll.

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