January 27, 2023

Mr. Biden has spent more than a year trying to convince Americans that the economy is strong and that inflation, which has reached its fastest pace in 40 years, will decrease. He highlighted rapid job creation and a falling unemployment rate, noting Monday that it had fallen to 3.6 percent.

Americans didn’t buy it. Consumer confidence has fallen as the prices of food, gasoline and others rose. Voter dissatisfaction with Mr. Biden’s economic stewardship has increased, as has attacks from Republicans, who have blamed the president’s policies for fueling inflation and eroding Americans’ purchasing power, just months ago. for the midterm elections that will determine whether the Democrats continue to control Congress.

About half of respondents in a June survey of Americans nationwide conducted for The New York Times by the online research platform Momentary said they believed the economy was already in a recession or depression. Another quarter said the economy was ‘going to a standstill’. Republican respondents were more pessimistic than Democrats, reflecting an ongoing partisan division in views on economic performance depending on who occupies the White House.

But more than half of independent voters said the country’s economy was in a depression or recession, as were a third of Democrats.

Government officials often acknowledge the pressure Americans have felt from rising prices, which have caused typical workers’ wages to fall after adjusting for inflation. They have also expressed frustration that Biden had not been given more credit for a rapid job recovery after inheriting an economy that had just begun to climb out of the steep and rapid 2020 pandemic recession.

Officials have pointed to continued strong job growth as proof that the US was not in a downturn, along with an unemployment rate nearly 50 years old, noting that gas prices have now fallen for six straight weeks.