Fears of a recession rise as coronavirus spreads

Andrew GreinerHead of Content for US
March 19, 2020, 7:29 PM UTC

A coronavirus fueled recession is coming, and it’s coming soon, the country says. 

More than 60 percent of Americans say they think a recession will come in the next year, according to a March survey by YouGov conducted March 16-18. That’s up a stunning 39 percentage points since we asked the same question in February and is the highest mark since YouGov began running the monthly survey in June 2019. 

The fear is rising among all age groups.

 

The culprit is the COVID-19 coronavirus. More than three quarters of respondents (78%) said the pandemic illness was making it more likely the country would plunge into a recession. 

While the focus is on the coronavirus, the blame might go to the president. A plurality of respondents said President Donald Trump’s policies are making it more likely that the country will enter a recession (42%). About a quarter, (26%) think Trump’s policies are making it less likely that the country will enter a recession.  That’s a trend that’s held for months in the monthly YouGov survey about recession fears. 

When asked whether they thought the United States was ready to weather a major economic recession, a majority (59%) said no, while.  ust 29 percent said the country was at least somewhat prepared to get through the tough times. Trend lines on this US preparedness question have remained relatively unchanged since YouGov began measuring in June — more than 50 percent  of Americans have consistently said they are not prepared to make it through a recession. 

Personal impact

Along with fear that a major economic recession is imminent, many seem worried that they won’t be able to manage the economic pain. Nearly half (46%) say they are “very unprepared” or “not at all prepared” personally for an economic recession. Slightly less (42%) say they are at least somewhat prepared. 

The personal impact figures become more pessimistic depending on your income level. 

A majority of individuals (56%) ) who  make less than $40,000 a year say they feel unprepared for a recession, compared to 34 percent who say they are prepared For those making more than $80,000 a year, those numbers reverse a bit, with a majority (65%) saying they’re ready, compared to 32 percent who say they’re not.

Those trends hold when correlating education levels. Half  (50%) of individuals with a high school education or less say they’re not prepared for a recession. By contrast, those with a postgraduate degree are much more likely to say they’re prepared (26 percent of those with post grad degrees say they’re prepared.)

Read the full results here

Methodology: All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 1205 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 16th - 17th March 2020.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all US adults (aged 18+).