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Grinnell College poll shows most feel economy will worsen


A majority of Americans think the economy will be worse in 12 months than it is now, according to a new Grinnell College National Poll released Wednesday.

The poll shows that 58% of those who participated expect the economy to worsen over the next year, the same percentage reported in the school’s 2022 poll. But the percentage of people who said they think the economy will strengthen over the next year increased 9 percentage points to 36%.

The poll results came as the Federal Reserve decided Wednesday to increase interest rates as it continues efforts to tamp down inflation, which fell to 6% earlier this month, down from 9.1% in June 2022, a 40-year high.

It was unclear whether the Federal Reserve would hike rates again following the recent collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank of New York. Economists said the closure of the banks could cause the Federal Reserve to either approve a smaller increase or pause rate hikes altogether. In the end, the Federal Reserve decided to increase rates by 0.25%, a smaller increase than the 0.50% that had been forecast earlier.

The Grinnell poll results also follow other reports that show concerns about the economy and the effect that ongoing labor shortages and supply chain issues are having on growth.

It also comes before the Bureau of Economic Analysis releases its state gross domestic product fourth-quarter reports, due later this month. The national GDP grew by 2.7% in the fourth quarter of 2022 after increasing 3.1% in the third quarter. Iowa’s GDP grew 0.3% in the third quarter of 2022, ending three straight quarters of decline.

In other findings, the poll showed that 68% of those who participated oppose allowing businesses to refuse service to customers based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The results come as the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule in the coming weeks on a Colorado case involving a website designer who opposed designing websites for same-sex marriage ceremonies based on religious beliefs.

The Grinnell College National Poll surveyed 1,004 Americans ages 18 and over between March 14 and 19. Results have a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.


Michael Crumb

Michael Crumb is a senior staff writer at Business Record. He covers economic development, transportation, energy & environment, culture, sales & marketing.

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