Researchers at the University of South Florida have released results from a statewide survey that measures public opinion on inflation, the housing market and student loans.
Among the key findings:
Recent inflation is making it harder for many Floridians to afford necessities. Almost half of Floridians (48%) either “strongly” or “somewhat agree” that inflation has impacted their ability to pay essential bills, and over three-fourths (77%) say that inflation has impacted their grocery spending.
Inflation has impacted discretionary spending and travel plans for a majority of Floridians as well. In an effort to keep up with the price of necessities, four in five Floridians (80%) either “strongly” or “somewhat agree” that inflation has impacted their discretionary spending, and two-thirds (65%) say that inflation has impacted their travel plans as well.
Floridians have had a hard time keeping up with mortgage and rent payments over the past year. About a quarter of Floridians (24%) say that they have had a hard time keeping up with their rent and mortgage payments over the past year, and one in three (35%) noted that their current household income does not support the cost of renting or buying a home in the state.
Floridians feel that multiple factors are responsible for inflation. An overwhelming 87% of Floridians said that supply chain issues were either “very” or “somewhat responsible” for the inflation being experienced by Floridians right now, followed by the COVID-19 pandemic (83%), and increased federal spending (73%).
In general, Floridians appear to be dissatisfied with the federal government’s management of inflation so far. Two-thirds of Floridians said that the Biden administration is “very” or “somewhat responsible” for the inflation being experienced by Floridians right now (64%), compared to 49% placing responsibility with the Trump administration. Overall, three-fourths of Floridians are “somewhat” or “very dissatisfied” with how the federal government is managing inflation and the rising costs of goods and services (77%).
Many Floridians are putting off purchasing a home due to the current housing market. With home values increasing by almost 70% in Florida over the past five years, it’s no surprise that 36% of Floridians who don’t own a home say that they are putting off buying due to the hot market as well as increased expenses, such as skyrocketing insurance premiums.
A majority of Floridians support the Biden administration’s recent decision to extend student loan payments. Over two-thirds (64.2%) of Floridians support an extension of the student loan repayment pause beyond May 1. A majority would also “strongly” or “somewhat support” the federal government forgiving loan debt for all borrowers, with two-thirds supporting $10,000 in loan forgiveness (68%), and a small majority supporting $50,000 in loan forgiveness (55%).
The survey included a representative sample of 600 Floridians, fielded March 31 to April 12, 2022. Results are reported with a confidence level of 95% and a margin of error +/-4 %.
The complete survey results can be found here.