Six in 10 Americans don't see economy improving soon, poll shows
Six in 10 Americans don't think the economy will improve any time soon, a sharp increase in pessimism from two years ago, according to a USA Today/Gallup poll released Wednesday.
The results underscore the gloom that has settled over consumers as the recovery has sputtered and the economy has started tilting dangerously toward a "double-dip" recession.
The random poll of 1,004 adults conducted Sept. 15-18 found that 39% of respondents think the economy will be the same a year from now, and 22% think it will be worse. Just 37% think the economy will improve in the same time period.
Two years ago the figures were almost completely reversed, with 65% thinking the economy would improve over the next year and 35% saying it would be the same or worse.
About 80% of respondents believe the U.S. is still in a recession, although the Great Recession technically ended in 2009. Gallup said that percentage has remained similar over the past three years.
"The lack of consistent economic progress since 2009 has dashed Americans' optimism that things will get better in the near future," Gallup said. "With the economy and unemployment firmly atop Americans' list of the most important problem facing the United States, both the health of the overall economy and Americans' perceptions of its health have obvious implications for President Obama as he seeks reelection next year."
Views of the economy appear to be colored by political affiliation, Gallup said. While optimism about a recovery has dropped across the board, Democrats are more likely than Republicans or independents to think the economy will improve. The poll found that 59% of Democrats think the economy will be better or fully recovered a year from now, compared with 28% of Republicans and 27% of independents.
-- Jim Puzzanghera in Washington