The number of Americans who feel that the prices of most things they buy are going up faster now than they were a year ago has increased to 59 percent from 49 percent only a month ago and 40 percent last July. This means that the recently reported increases in the price index are being deeply felt by Americans.
As a direct result of this increase in public concern over rising inflation, the rating that people give President Carter on "his handling of the economy" has now sunk to 72 percent negative and 24 percent positive. In 10 months, the public's confidence in the president's ability to handle the economy has dropped from 47 to 24 percent, while criticism of his economic stewardship has risen from 46 to 72 percent. It now appears that Carter is in real trouble with the public on what they see as the central bread-and-butter issue: how to control inflation.
When asked what they expect prices to be a year from now, 37 percents believe prices will be rising even faster than at present, with 30 percent holding the view that prices will be going up at the current rate.
Basically, this decent Harris Survey of 1,199 adults nationwide reveals that the recent surge of prices has brought on a deepening sense of pessimism about the future of the economy.