According to Gallup, attempts to distract the US population with trivial side stories is failing spectacularly, as 74% of survey respondents have responded that the economy is the "most important problem" facing America today, which is the highest percentage in two years, and since the market lows in March 2009. So even as the market has doubled, this appears to have done little for the average American who is now more concerned about the true "economy" than ever since the Great Financial Crash, and not merely the one indicated by the Russell 2000. Chalk one more failure to Ben's attempt at forcing the wealth effect upon the great unwashed.
Gallup has been asking Americans the most important problem question on a monthly basis since 2001. Economic issues began to dominate Americans' concerns in 2008 as the financial crisis unfolded, and rose to an all-time high of 86% in February 2009. Since then, Americans have still generally been more concerned about economic matters than non-economic ones, although the percentage naming economic concerns did fall for much of 2009 before creeping back up in 2010 and 2011.
Main concerns are the economy, jobs, and the price of gas, not the S&P
General economic concerns (35%) and unemployment (22%) are the specific issues currently at the forefront of Americans' minds. The percentage mentioning the economy in general is up significantly from 26% in April, while unemployment is up just slightly from 19%.
Twelve percent of Americans mention the federal budget deficit or federal debt as the nation's most important problem, down from 17% in April, although still high on a historical basis. The April reading was the highest Gallup found since 1996.
Mentions of gas prices are up to 8% in the May 5-8 Gallup poll, the highest in nearly three years.
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