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The majority of voters believe the economy is worsening because of mismanagement by Biden's government. Reuters

Over half of U.S. citizens (56%) believe the country is facing a recession even though that is not actually the case, according to a survey by global research and consulting firm Harris Poll.

The poll, conducted exclusively for The Guardian, shows that the majority of respondents (58%) believe the economy is worsening because of mismanagement by the Biden administration.

However, these views vary among people of different political leanings: Republicans are much more pessimistic about the economy than others. About 67% of Republican voters gave this answer, compared to 53% of Independents and 49% of Democrats who think the economy is in recession.

However, the U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research (NEBR), the federal agency responsible to determine when the country faces a recession, defines this as a "a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in real GDP, real income, employment, industrial production, and wholesale-retail sales."

Joe Biden
The majority of voters believe the economy is worsening because of mismanagement by Biden's government. AFP

The last recession was in 2020, at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, with the U.S. economy growing significantly since then. Except for a short-term downturn in 2022, which the NEBR does not consider a recession, the U.S. gross domestic product has been on an upward trajectory in recent years.

This is evidenced by other economic factors such as unemployment, which is at all-time lows, and wages, which have been increasing. Consumer spending has also been solid over the past year.

So why do U.S. citizens feel the opposite? Inflation seems to be the trigger. Some 72% of respondents to the survey said they believe inflation is rising, when in fact it has been hovering between 3% and 4% recently after falling from a post-pandemic peak of 9.1%.

Americans are still struggling with rising prices. According to the survey, 70% of Americans said their top economic concern was the cost of living, followed by inflation at 68%.

Those same issues (cost of living and inflation) are top of mind among Latinos in the U.S., according to the "UnidosUS 2023 Poll of the Hispanic Electorate," the organization published late last year.

Despite the potential setback for Biden from these voter concerns about the economy, there is some positive news for the president's campaign. According to the Harris Poll, Republican voters were slightly more optimistic about the long-term effects of its economic policies than they were in a previous poll, conducted in September.

Four-in-ten Republicans, up 11 points from September, said they believe Bidenomics will have a lasting positive impact, while 81% of Democrats said the same.

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