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Nearly 70% of Americans disapprove of Biden’s handling of inflation, new poll finds

President Joe Biden on Wednesday speaks from the East Room of the White House on the COVID-19 response and vaccination program. (Susan Walsh | AP Photo)
President Joe Biden on Wednesday speaks from the East Room of the White House on the COVID-19 response and vaccination program. (Susan Walsh | AP Photo)

The majority of Americans in a new poll disapprove of how President Joe Biden is handling rising prices in the U.S.

The ABC News/Ipsos poll found 28% of respondents approve of how Biden is handling inflation while 69% disapprove. It also found that Biden's approval rating has recently slipped on how is he handling other key issues, including the COVID-19 pandemic and economic recovery.

The poll of 524 adults was conducted Dec. 10-11. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points.

Inflation and economic recovery

Biden's approval rating on inflation comes as consumer prices have continued to increase in the United States.

The Consumer Price Index, which measures the average change over time in the prices "urban consumers" pay for goods and services, rose 6.8% over a year in November, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That's the largest yearly increase since June 1982.

Since November 2020, food prices rose 6.1%, energy services prices rose 10.7%, and gasoline prices rose 58.1%.

Experts have said that inflation has largely been driven by factors related to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as supply chain disruptions and labor market issues, according to Pew Research Center. Additionally, people have started spending more this year as the economy reopened, Forbes reported, meaning prices look higher compared with last year, when they were driven down during coronavirus-related restrictions.

Biden told CNN recently that inflation is a real problem and that he thinks it's the "peak of the crisis." He said he believes inflation would decrease with the passage of his Build Back Better plan, which faces hurdles in the Senate after passing the House in November, "because it's reducing costs for ordinary people."

"It's a real bump in the road," Biden told CNN of inflation. "It does affect families when you walk into a grocery store and you're paying more for whatever you're purchasing. It matters. It matters to people when you're paying more for gas, although in some states we've got the price down below three bucks a gallon, but the point is it's not gone down quickly enough. But I think it will."

Biden saw a higher approval rating on his handling of the country's economic recovery than on his handling of inflation, though a majority still said they disapprove.

While 41% approve, 57% disapprove, the poll found. His approval is down from 47% in October and 60% in March.

In November, the country's unemployment rate fell to 4.2% from 4.6% in October, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Additionally, the number of new jobless claims fell to 184,000 during the week of Dec. 4, which is the lowest number of new claims since September 1969, the Department of Labor said.

But the U.S. economy added 210,000 jobs in November, which is lower than the average monthly job growth of 555,000 seen so far this year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said.

"Holistically this report looks pretty good," Drew Matus, chief market strategist for MetLife Investment Management, told The Washington Post of the numbers. "More people are participating in the economy, and fewer of them are unemployed. When you take those two together, I think they're more important than what the headline payroll figure might look like."

Biden's approval on other issues

The poll found that Biden's approval rating fell on other key issues:

But his approval rating increased on some issues included in the poll. On immigration, 34% of respondents said they approve of the job Biden is doing, which is up from 31% in October and 33% in September. On "rebuilding the United States' infrastructure," 53% said they approve, up slightly from 52% in October.

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