Soaring food and gas prices mean almost 1 in 2 Americans say they're struggling financially, survey finds

Gas prices are displayed at a gas station in Buffalo Grove, Ill., Thursday, June 9, 2022. Soaring gasoline prices have left many consumers with no choice but to cut spending on non-essentials, but it might be coming full circle by stopping some drivers from filling up their tanks.
Soaring gas prices mean more Americans are now struggling financially, according to new research.Nam Y. Huh/AP
  • 42% of people admit they are struggling financially, according to research from Monmouth University.

  • Respondents said inflation and rising gas prices are their biggest concern.

  • People are now paying more for basic necessities as the cost of food and fuel hits fresh highs.

Close to one in two Americans are now struggling to make ends meet financially amid soaring food and gas bills, according to new research from Monmouth University.

Some 42% admitted they are under financial pressure, blaming higher inflation as their primary concern, the survey found.

The figure is the highest recorded by the university since it started polling people five years ago.

Americans are forking out more for their utility and grocery bills in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine and Western sanctions that have affected global commodity supplies and pushed up prices.

The climate crisis has also hit food production, while pandemic-era supply chain disruptions have also caused delays and increased costs.

Rents and airline tickets have jumped at their fastest pace in decades.

In May, inflation escalated at the sharpest pace in more than 40 years with the Consumer Price Index increasing by 8.6%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In June, gas prices hit fresh highs above $5 per gallon.

"Economic concerns tend to rise to the top of the list of family concerns, as you might expect, but the singular impact of inflation is really hitting home right now. And most Americans are blaming Washington for their current pain," said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.

The Biden administration has struggled to control soaring inflation and Americans are growing increasingly dissatisfied, the research stated, with 57% admitting that governmental actions in recent months had harmed their families.

The White House has previously committed to the release of one million barrels per day from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and is set to meet meet Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman this month. Last week, President Biden admitted that he would not directly ask Saudi Arabia to increase oil production.

Last week, Biden admitted that Americans would be paying higher gas prices for "as long as it takes" to overcome Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The Monmouth University poll surveyed almost 1,000 people between June 23 and June 27.

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