Fed Report: Opioid Crisis Affects American Economic Outlook

The Marriner S. Eccles Federal Reserve Board Building in Washington, D.C..

A report released by the United States Federal Reserve suggests that the opioid crisis may be having an effect on the economic outlook for many Americans.

The report, which was released on May 22, revealed that one in every five Americans was personally acquainted with a person who had been or was currently addicted to prescription pills or opioids.

The Federal Reserve began conducting its annual national survey in 2013, but this year’s report is the first to include questions concerning opioid addiction. Among the information revealed by the recently released report is the fact that exposure to opioid addiction is twice as likely to occur among white Americans than black Americans, regardless of the variable education levels among those surveyed.

When a respondent to the Federal Reserve’s annual national survey had been exposed to opioid addiction, it decreased the likelihood that they would give the national or local economy a favorable rating.

Certain questions on the Federal Reserve’s annual survey showed favorable progress. In 2013, just 60 percent of American adults said that were “living comfortably.” The new 2017 report, however, saw 75 percent of American adults saying they were meeting the “living comfortably” standard.

Furthermore, the majority of those surveyed stated that they were satisfied with their benefits and wages over the past year, while fewer than 20 percent of employed adults viewed future opportunities for employment pessimistically.

Nevertheless, many of those surveyed stated that they lacked the financial savings to weather an unexpected $400 expense, a fact that could become more problematic should the need for addiction recovery treatment arise.

The annual survey gathered information between November and December of 2017. During that time, the national rate of unemployment was at 4.1 percent. Since then, the national unemployment rate has dropped to 3.9 percent. As the opioid crisis continues to ravage the United States, the effect it has on the American economic outlook presents a significant concern.