WASHINGTON, May 12 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. public views inflation as the top problem facing the nation, with 70 percent of Americans viewing inflation as a "very big problem," according to a Pew Research Center survey released Thursday.
Republicans and Democrats differ over what they see as major national problems.
Inflation is the "top concern among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents," with 84 percent calling it a very big problem. A narrower majority of Democrats and Democratic leaners (57 percent) view inflation the same way.
"Our goal, of course, is to get inflation back down to 2 percent without having the economy go into recession, or, to put it this way, with the labor market remaining fairly strong," U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell, whose second term was confirmed by the Senate Thursday, said in an interview with Marketplace.
"I think it's a very challenging environment to make monetary policy," said Powell, noting that the central bank is "struggling" to restore price stability.
The Pew Research Center survey showed that other big problems include affordability of health care (55 percent), violent crime (54 percent), gun violence (51 percent) and the federal budget deficit (51 percent).
The survey noted that more than two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, just 19 percent of Americans rate the coronavirus outbreak as a very big problem for the country, the lowest share out of 12 issues included in the survey. In June 2020, in the early stages of the outbreak, 58 percent rated it as a very big problem, placing it among the top concerns at the time.
The survey was conducted from April 25 to May 1 among 5,074 adults. ■