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Politics has dominated the American news cycle for the past three years, and it’s now dominating people’s economic concerns.
According to a recent survey of 1,000 individuals conducted by Bankrate.com, 44% of Americans say the political environment in Washington, D.C. is the biggest threat to the economy over the next six months.
The next most popular choices were terrorism and political/economic developments — both at just 14%. Other named threats included a decline in the stock market (11%), interest rate decisions (8%), and “something else” (2%).
‘It’s absolutely at its zenith’
The findings show “there’s some collateral damage from the high degree of anxiety and noise that Washington is producing,” Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst at Bankrate.com, told Yahoo Finance.
During the government shutdown, a product of discord between the Trump administration and Democratic members of Congress, economic effects were seen across the nation. Hundreds of thousands of federal employees were furloughed, IPOs were delayed, and farmers were unable to receive their government loans — just to name a few. Overall, the partial shutdown cost the U.S. economy at least $11 billion.
While it’s not clear if the shutdown played a role in the respondents’ sentiments, it did raise some questions.
“There have obviously been periods of high discord in the political environment in the U.S,” Hamrick said, citing tensions during the ‘60s and ‘70s. “But in the last couple of decades, it’s absolutely at its zenith.”
‘There’s some water that’s being taken on’
So what is it about politics that concerns people the most?
“There are a million stories in the naked city, right?” Hamrick said, “To the degree that everyone may have their own personal reasons for feeling this way, I think there are some broad brushstrokes that can apply.”
He cited trade uncertainty and tax cut dissatisfaction as some…