Survey Says: Americans Top Worry? Rising prices

"Have you experienced the following in the past month?"

Here are the complete results to the survey’s question, which was performed in September (as gasoline prices dropped 30%):

• Rising prices, 74%
• Too many things to do, 56%
• Trouble sleeping, 53%
• Concerns about money for emergencies, 53%
• Concerns about health in general, 43%
• Illness of a family member, 36%
• Not enough money for basic necessities, 36%
• Too much information to process at one time, 33%
• Being lonely, 29%
• Problems with your work, boss or fellow workers, 24%
• Problems with aging parents, 21%
• Frequent or excessive noise, 20%
• Problems with my children, 19%
• Abuse of your personal privacy, 13%

Of course, these people are all wrong, given that (ex inflation) there has been nothing going up price.


Rising prices’ tops list of worries
Money woes worry people; older Americans are least stressed: survey
Andrea Coombes
MarketWatch, 8:33 PM ET Oct 8, 2006

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  1. jkw commented on Oct 9

    That doesn’t look like a very useful survey. They are also reporting that the question was about what people have experienced, but their conclusions assume that these are the things people are worried about. The CPI could be correctly measuring inflation at 0% while some things are going up in price while others are dropping, and people would be experiencing prices increasing. People are also more likely to notice price changes in the inexpensive things they buy every day than in the expensive things they buy every couple of months, but overall expenses are dominated by the latter.

    This seems like a poorly created survey. By itself, it is useless. With historical trends, it might be useful. Adding a second question about how much each item is a concern would make the data more useful too. As an inflation measure, they should also add a question about experiencing price declines to balance things out.

  2. Craig commented on Oct 9

    Oh…..IOW you don’t like the results.

    If you give people a checklist of things they may have experienced, and they have the *choice* of checking or NOT checking the box for that particular experience, then how is the result a third party conclusion?

    “Their” results are those freely chosen by those surveyed. Of course the next weak link is those surveyed, to somehow say they aren’t representative, which I’m sure will be next.

    Why should we accept a purely personal anecdotal counter argument instead of a survey of many more than one?

    Barry nailed it, these people must all be wrong.
    Yeah, that’s it.

  3. T commented on Oct 9

    Regardless of the numbers, how people are feeling is what will determine their spending pattern for the upcoming holiday period.

  4. JWC commented on Oct 9

    For the first time ever, we are not going to exchange gifts (for the adults) this year at Christmas. My daughter-in-law called in July, almost in tears, saying they just could not afford to do it any more. After calling around, everyone agreed we had to do something because it was getting hard for them too. We finally drew names, set a $ limit. Upshot, instead of buying about eight gifts, each couple will be buying two, with a $20 or less limit.

    I’m sad that I will not be buying “my” adult children anything for Christmas, as that is something I have done since they were born. But I do remember way back when, when it was hard for me to continue buying for my rather large family – meaning I had less for my own kids. So I will be gracious about the no gift rule, and enjoy buying for the grandkids.

    Definately, for this Christmas, my extended family will be spending less. Just one example. (I personally will probably spend about $400 less.)

  5. TPR commented on Oct 9

    I agree. The people must be wrong. I myself am happy and have plenty of money. I just lie on surveys to make the economy look bad.

  6. kckid816 commented on Oct 9

    I’m a perfect real word example of this survey.

    I currently make about $33k (so much for my top 50 business school education). I have 47k in student loans and I recently had a child. My electricity bills have tripled on no increase in usage, my other bills have gone up but no where close to electricity. I get pinched at the pump, which is starting to ease but I’m still paying a lot more than I would like. On top of all this my employer just slashed our benefits. I now have to cover the first $5280 of medical expenses out of my pocket, and then the 80/20 coinsurance kicks in. So, with all of my current obligations how am I supposed to deal with any increases in anything? I can barely make it as it is, and I have NO credit card debt. What happens if I get in a wreck with my wife a kid and receive a $5000 hospital bill (I have no way to cover that)?

    But other than that the economy is GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!

    (btw I have been looking for a new job for over 9 months, so don’t give me the look for a new job excuse because if I could get one I would)

  7. Frank Rizzo commented on Oct 9


    Coinsurance? What’s that?

    //Still likes the US

  8. kckid816 commented on Oct 9


    They pay 80% I pay 20%. The way most insurance plans work for anything other than routine visits.

  9. KirkH commented on Oct 9

    “He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts…for support rather than illumination.”
    Andrew Lang (1844-1912)

    Digitally Remastered for 2006:
    “The BLS/David Lereah use statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts…for urination rather than illumination”
    Inspired by a HBB comment.

  10. Chris commented on Oct 9

    I live in Palm Beach County florida and my homeowners insurance just went up 287% last week. It is now at almost 2X my property taxes and 2.5% of the “supposed” value of my home. Thank god i’m saving $9 a week at the pump or I would be freaking. Oh and like the poster above my electric bill, which has averaged $440 a month for the last 4 year (2 4 ton a/c’s), has been $680 a month on average with June/Aug seeing spikes to $800. This is with natty gas at 4 year lows. Thankfully my 401k has gone up $1900 in the last 10 weeks or that would concern me also. Things are good and only getting better.

  11. KirkH commented on Oct 9

    … seeing as how we spend more as a nation that we earn, wouldn’t inflation be seen as a positive? If I just bought a house for 50% more than it’s actually worth wouldn’t I be praying for inflation to bail me out. Or is it different this time because wages aren’t keeping up with inflation?

  12. Eddie commented on Oct 9

    Where I have actually been noticing the prices increases is in restaurant prices. Mid-range places like Outback and such have started to get rather expensive. Hell, even Denny’s is no longer cheap.

    I suppose some of that is offset by the fixed price of fast-food, but when a $16 steak goes to $18, thats more than a 10% increase right there.

    Gotta love America’s apathy about something fundamental to this country however:
    Abuse of your personal privacy, 13%

  13. je commented on Oct 9

    the prix-fixe @ Alain Ducasse just went up to $265 , really sucks

  14. teddy commented on Oct 9

    I see that Richard Fisher, President of the Dallas Fed who a year and a half ago said we were in the 8th inning of rate tightening, is at it again. He now says that the economy is “healthy and robust”. With apartment rents exploding up all across the nation, I would say that’s robustfully sick.

  15. T commented on Oct 9

    “… seeing as how we spend more as a nation that we earn, wouldn’t inflation be seen as a positive? If I just bought a house for 50% more than it’s actually worth wouldn’t I be praying for inflation to bail me out. Or is it different this time because wages aren’t keeping up with inflation?”

    The problem is that the cost of debt will rise along with inflation expectations. So your credit card bill and adjustable mortagage (or the fixed mortgage of the next owner of your home) will rise, increasing the effective cost of those assets. The appeal and viability of buying a house goes way down if mortages rise to 15-20% annual rates. Rampant inflation quickly becomes a damper on economic progress as nobody wants to loan out money that’s going to be worth less when it’s paid back.

  16. cm commented on Oct 10

    Eddie: A number of local places has also recently “remodeled” their menus. In one particular case, the final bill for our standard (lunch) fare went up 5%. But that’s after about 5 (?) years of stable prices (and the old menus had become rather dilapidated, attesting to that period of stability). And I suppose their cost of business has gone up too.

  17. David Sternfeld commented on Oct 11

    It wil take greater unanimity of consensus before all the many surveys clearly show reality as it is. The greatest boom must be followed by the greatest bust. When the 70% who feel the government is on the wrong track infect the financial markets, few will debate soft vs. hard landing. Fearful panic followed by depression and repression should remove all doubt.

  18. Addiction Treatment commented on Oct 11

    As they say…the more money we come across, the more problems we see! So I agree. These statistics might be skewed but they do show some facts.

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