A majority of Americans think a recession will strike in the next year - and they're blaming Trump's trade war

Trump MAGAUS President Donald Trump waves during a &quotMake America Great Again" rally in Topeka, Kansas, on October 6, 2018.NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Image

  • Americans have grown increasingly concerned the trade war with China will raise prices and tip the economy into a recession.
  • Six in 10 Americans say a recession is likely in the next year, according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll released Tuesday. About 43% think trade policies have increased those chances.
  • That has undermined a core source of support for President Donald Trump as he campaigns for reelection.
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Americans have grown increasingly concerned the trade war with China will tip the economy into a recession within the next year, undermining a core source of support for President Donald Trump as he campaigns for reelection.

Six in 10 Americans say a recession is likely in the next year, according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll released Tuesday. The same amount are concerned US tariffs on thousands of Chinese products over the past year will raise prices at home.

The tit-for-tat tariff disputes the Trump administration ignited with China and other trading partners last year have cast a thick cloud of uncertainty over the economy, which was already expected to cool in the coming months. More Americans say those trade policies increase the chances of a recession rather than decrease them.

That has chipped away at one of Trump's strongest campaign issues: the economy. The president's approval rating among voting-age Americans stands at 38%, the Post-ABC poll finds, down six points from July and slightly below his career average. About 56% say they disapprove of Trump's performance in office.

"The main thing driving this concern among Americans is just looking out their windows," said Austan Goolsbee, who served as a chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers in the Obama administration. "They are paying for tariffs, and the economy is slowing down."

The US and China escalated tariffs several times in recent months, with far more consumer products targeted than in previous tranches. Trump has vowed to expand duties in December to virtually all Chinese imports, including electronics and other sensitive goods.

"For many Americans, President Trump's trade war is only now starting to directly hit home," said Chad Bown, a senior fellow at the nonpartisan Peterson Institute for International Economics. "The worst price hikes are likely still to come for the American consumer."

Trump disputed the poll without evidence Tuesday morning.

"ABC/Washington Post Poll was the worst and most inaccurate poll of any taken prior to the 2016 Election," the president wrote on Twitter. "When my lawyers protested, they took a 12 point down and brought it to almost even by Election Day. It was a Fake Poll by two very bad and dangerous media outlets. Sad!"

Read more: Investors have triggered a recession signal with a perfect 50-year track record - and one expert says years of 0% market returns could be in store

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