(CNS News) -- Price increases, largely fueled by inflation, are "causing financial hardship" for 56% of American households, reported Gallup. This percentage is up from 45% in November 2021, nearly one year ago.
In the survey, Gallup asked, "Have recent price increases caused any financial hardship for you or your household? Is that a severe hardship that affects your ability to maintain your current standard of living, or is it a moderate hardship that affects you somewhat but does not jeopardize your current standard of living?"
In response, 56% of Americans said price increases were causing a "severe/moderate hardship" while 12% said the hardship was "severe."
"Although more Americans now than last fall say they are experiencing hardship, the percentage who are suffering severe hardship has held relatively steady at around 10%," reported Gallup. "Lower-income Americans are more likely than others to be experiencing severe hardship -- 26% of those whose annual household income is less than $48,000 say prices are causing severe hardship for their families. That compares with 12% of middle-income Americans and 4% of upper-income Americans."
"However, sharply more middle- and upper-income Americans are struggling now than were last November," said the survey firm. "The increase has been greater among middle-income Americans -- up 17 percentage points -- than among upper-income Americans -- up 12 points."
On the political scale, 67% of Republicans said they were enduring financial hardship because of price increases, but only 44% of Democrats and 56% of Independents said the same.
Gallup also asked about things people are doing or cutting back on because of the higher prices today. In response, 24% said they had reduced spending and were spending on essentials only. Seventeen percent said "less traveling/canceled vacation"; 17% "less driving" and "using less gas"; 10% said "eating out less"; and 8% said "cut down on entertainment/social activities/fun money."
Commenting on the changes in purchasing, Gallup said that some Americans "have resorted to more significant measures such as finding another job, incurring debt, postponing medical care or applying for assistance."
In conclusion, the survey firm said, "With high inflation persisting for over a year, a majority of Americans now say they are experiencing financial hardship from higher prices. Lower-income Americans were mainly affected early on, but most middle-income Americans and a substantial minority of upper-income Americans are now feeling the strain of higher prices."
To read the survey, click here.