The general sense that prices have risen rapidly in recent years is much more prevalent now than at the beginning of the Bush administration; overall, 79% of the public says that over the past five years prices have risen “a lot;” in June 2001, 63% said that prices had increased a great deal over the previous five years. Rising prices — for gasoline or energy, healthcare, or overall inflation — are mentioned most frequently as the nation’s biggest economic problem. Overall, 24% cite concern over prices — with the cost of energy and healthcare mentioned most frequently — as the most important problem facing the country. By comparison, 18% volunteer jobs as the nation’s biggest economic problem, while 13% cite housing — including 6% who specifically cite the sub-prime mortgage crisis. Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.