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the big squeeze

Poll: Anxiety about inflation highest since 1985

Americans' level of concern about inflation is at its highest point since 1985, a Gallup poll released Tuesday found.

Seventeen percent of respondents said "High cost of living/inflation" was the most important problem currently facing the United States, up from eight percent in January. An additional 15 percent said the biggest problem was either "Fuel/Oil prices" or the "Economy in general."

Fifty-nine percent said they worry "a great deal" about inflation, including 79 percent of Republicans, 25 percent of Democrats, and 63 percent of independents.

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that consumer prices increased by 7.9 percent between Feb. 2021 and Feb. 2022, the biggest one-year jump since 1982.

According to The New York Times, the Biden administration "initially expected rapid inflation to fade" but has now "switched to arguing that it is part of a broader global phenomenon" linked to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. This claim, the Times reports, "is accurate but probably not the full story."

Gallup surveyed 1,017 U.S. adults between March 1 and March 18. The poll has an error margin of four percent.