More Americans are finding it harder to buy food these days, approaching levels not seen since the Great Recession of a few years ago, a Gallup polls finds.
The percentage of Americans who say they did not lack money for food in 2011 fell to 79.8 percent in October from 80.1 percent in September, continuing a decline that began in April, the polling company reports.
"The record low was in November 2008, at the start of the economic crisis, when 79.4 percent reported that they had enough money to buy food for themselves or their families," Gallup reports.
Don't blame rising food prices, either, as the poll shows the problem may be home grown.
"In 2008, fewer Americans reported that they had enough money to buy food in August and November than in October, likely affected by high gas prices in the former case and the onset of the economic crisis in the latter," Gallup says.
"Still, this October finds fewer Americans saying that they had enough money to buy food over the past year than in each October for the past three years."
The news does not bode well for the U.S. economy, of which consumer spending accounts for 70 percent of total output.
While economic indicators may point to improvement, such as more robust gross domestic product rates, slight upticks in consumer spending and less demand for unemployment benefits, consumer sentiment remains low, and when the latter occurs, robust economic growth remains elusive.
"It’s the hangover from the Great Recession," says James Russo, vice president of global consumer insights for Nielsen, the Washington Post reports. "People feel the economy not at the macro level but at the micro level."
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