Americans not feeling generous toward some businesses right now

Farms and restaurants are now the only parts of the US economy that a majority of Americans see in a positive light, according to a new Gallup survey.

Almost every other industry, from banking to education to movies and sports, sees less than half of Americans having a positive opinion of them now, compared to a year ago.

In the Gallup study, the organization asks survey participants to rate various business industries using a five-point scale ranging from “very positive” to “very negative.” Only one industry – computers – sees an even split, with 50% of survey respondents having a positive impression and the rest seeing it as neutral or negative. But that’s down from the all-time high positive ranking of 75% for the industry in 2017.

Overall, the average positive rating across 25 industries fell to 36% – near the low of 34% seen in 2008, Gallup said.

No industry has seen a significant increase in positive reviews over the past year, the polling group found. Notably, the grocery industry’s positive rating fell 14 points from a year ago, as food prices gradually increased.

Gallup describes the latest survey results as emblematic of the austere mood American consumers currently find themselves in, thanks in part to high inflation and economic uncertainty. US inflation has hit a 40-year high for most of the year, making it more expensive for people to maintain their standard of living.

Some of the industries with the most negative ratings are oil and gas at 62%. At 47%, health care and education narrowly miss the negative cut of the majority.

Agriculture, which includes farming, and restaurants have consistently been the top-ranked industries since Gallup began the poll in 2001. In this latest survey, the restaurant industry was ranked highly among 60% of respondents and farming/farming landed at 57%. Grocery has also been a top line of business, and although it has seen a steep decline over the past year, at 40% positive, it still ranks higher than many others.

The federal government has been the lowest-rated industry every year since 2014, Gallup said. At 25% this year, it essentially ties with the oil and gas industry (22%) for the lowest spot.

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