Gas, energy costs spark gloomy outlook on economy among Granite Staters

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High energy prices are causing Granite State households making less than $75,000 annual income feeling anxious. (Courtesy photo)

DURHAM - Amid rising inflation and volatile markets, pessimism about the New Hampshire and U.S. economies has increased sharply since February among Granite Staters.

A record number of New Hampshire residents, particularly those with household incomes below $75,000, feel they are worse off than a year ago, anticipate being worse off a year from now, and think it is a bad time to buy a major household item.

When asked how they expect New Hampshire businesses will do in the upcoming year, only 17 percent of Granite Staters think state businesses will enjoy good times financially, 52 percent anticipate mixed conditions and 32 percent think they will experience bad times. Forty-four percent of New Hampshire Republicans, 28 percent of Independents, and 20 percent of Democrats anticipate bad business conditions in New Hampshire during the next 12 months.

"The current national economic conditions, particularly the effects of inflation and record-high gas prices, are taking a severe toll on consumer confidence in New Hampshire," said BIA President Michael Skelton. "Fortunately, New Hampshire's economy remains strong and the state is expecting record levels of tourism and spending this summer.

"Nonetheless, we're counting on our federal leaders to find ways to ease the negative effects of inflation and energy costs."

The report released Monday was compiled by the UNH Survey Center.

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