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Half of Americans Say They’re Worse Off, Most Since 2009

By Reade Pickert

Half of Americans say they are financially worse off now than they were a year ago, the highest share since 2009, according to a Gallup poll released Wednesday.

(Photo: Pexels)

An even greater portion of lower-income Americans said they were losing ground, according to the Jan. 2-22 survey. About 61% of those with a household income of less than $40,000 reported they were worse off, compared to 49% and 43% for middle- and high-income households respectively.

Gallup noted high inflation, rising interest rates and declining stock values likely weighed on Americans’ financial situations. That said, respondents remain upbeat about their future finances despite looming concerns about a recession.

Some 60% of Americans expect they will be better off a year from now. That share is largely the same across different income groups, and Gallup said the optimism is not unusual — Americans tend to expect their finances to improve rather than worsen.

“If this optimism holds and consumers act accordingly, it may help to minimize or avert an economic recession,” Gallup’s Jeffrey Jones wrote in the report. 

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